I hadn’t intended to go see the Madoc Santa Claus parade. It was this past Saturday evening, and for various reasons I already had to be in Madoc (which is “town” for us – unless “town” happens to be Tweed that day) not once but twice earlier on Saturday. A third trip in from my nice warm Manse in Queensborough, to stand in the cold and watch a few floats go by? Not in the plan.
But when the nice people working in not one but two of the shops in town (the One Stop Butcher Shop and the Hidden Goldmine Bakery – both superb food places, by the way) asked me enthusiastically on my first trip of the day whether I’d be at the parade, I thought, “You know what, Sedgwick? It’s a big deal in this little town, it’s Christmas, you haven’t seen it before – and it’s kind of cool to have a nighttime Santa Claus parade. Just do it.”
And so I drove the 15 minutes into Madoc for a third time on Saturday, and I am happy to report that the parade was delightful.
Have you ever been to a First of July or Santa Claus parade in a very small town? Where every firetruck that can possibly be mustered – vintage, new and in between, pumpers, tankers, the works – is called in to stretch things out? Where big shiny trucks lent by the local car dealership ferry along the county warden and the local member of Parliament, waving furiously? Where the marching bands may be a little few and far between but totally make up for it in playing with great gusto? And where the treats handed out to the kids by walkers in the parade include not just candy but fresh cheese curds from the local cheese factory and cartons of chocolate milk from the local dairy? (Can you tell this is dairy-farming country?)
The parade wasn’t miles long – it lasted about half an hour, moving at a very slow pace – but given that it was pretty cold outside, that was just fine. The kids – and who knew that Madoc had so many kids? – were absolutely enthralled, and their parents were clearly enjoying watching them be enthralled. There were throngs of people along the route, more people than I have ever seen in Madoc before. It reminded me of what some of my wonderful readers had to say (in response to my post here) about what a busy place it used to be on Friday nights, when all the stores would stay open late and all the people who lived in the surrounding countryside would come into town to shop and see people.
It was just a lovely parade. And oh, such excitement when the kids spotted Santa’s float coming at the end!
I do believe that, thanks to a somewhat reluctant third trip of the day to Madoc on a cold and wintry night, and thanks to the good folks who put together the Madoc Santa Claus parade, I have got myself right smack into the spirit of Christmas.