Lighted Santa Parade attracts thousands

Festival: Santa and Mrs. Claus ride atop vintage 1940s Mack fire engine to ring in season

of the HeraldDecember 11, 2013 

More than 130 entries in Puyallup’s annual Lighted Santa Parade lit up the route along Meridian in downtown Puyallup on Saturday evening.

The air was chilly, but the sky was clear. Snow didn’t fall, but temperatures hovered in the low 30s.

Ed Hume, the host of Gardening in America and owner of Hume Seeds, was the grand marshal.

“It’s a great honor to be part of this parade,” Hume said. “The parade is full of community pride.”

David German and his wife, Valene Patton-German, played Santa and Mrs. Claus, and they rode atop a vintage 1940s Mack fire engine that was donated by Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. German has played Santa in the parade since 1998.

“There is a special feeling when you wave to all the people,” Patton-German said.

“I love the whole atmosphere of Christmas — everything about it,” German said. “And when I finally meet my maker, I’m hoping he will be happy with my performance.”

Following the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus were led to the Rotary stage at Pioneer Park with the help of Central Pierce’s Medical Explorers post. On stage, they took photos with children. Hot cocoa, hot cider and cookies — enough for 4,000 — was served.

Trudi Bocott, senior services assistant, helped to collect the food donations.

Medical Explorers adviser Elaine Morse said the group’s community service keeps them busy this time of year.

“Everyone is so appreciative of what we do,” Morse said. “I love being with my explorers.”

Other parade entries included dozens of Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, military service members, state Sen. Bruce Dammeier and Reps. Hans Zeiger and Dawn Morrell, and city council members, including Mayor Rick Hansen.

The public gathered at Pioneer Park afterward to watch Hansen light the Christmas tree.

The City of Puyallup, Puyallup Main Street Association, Puyallup Kiwanis Club and Key Club members from Puyallup, Rogers and Emerald Ridge high schools all were partners in the production of the parade. Puget Sound Energy, the parade’s main sponsor, donated $1,500 this year.

Chris Kucklick, a past president of Puyallup Kiwanis, estimated more than 5,000 people attended last year. He said he expected about the same number this year.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at andrew.fickes@puyallupherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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