It began to look a lot like Christmas in Springfield on Saturday as the town’s annual parade welcomed in the most wonderful time of year.
The 69th annual Springfield Christmas Parade was themed a “Super Hero Christmas” and honored service people in the community. The beloved holiday event marked the return of a moving parade after the pandemic last year limited how people could gather.
Following its usual route, the parade started at 21st and Olympic streets and proceeded down Mohawk Boulevard to Main Street. Decorated cars and Christmas floats, marching bands and horses, classic characters and local groups all participated.
The Oregon Riders Society hosted the state’s “oldest and coldest parade” for the 17th consecutive year. Last year’s parade saw participants line the route with their floats and displays instead of going down the street to limit crowds while the pandemic was raging.
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But the nearly 90 floats involved in this year’s parade rolled down the street as in years past, delighting children and adults along the route for the traditional start to the season.
“We drove through the parade last year, so this is kind of nice to be able to be out and about and actually watch the parade,” said Bob Eldredge, a Eugene resident.
Eldredge and his family were among hundreds lining the parade route Saturday, some camped out on blankets or in the backs of pickups.
“We’re just here to see what the Christmas stuff brings. We like the music from the high school bands. The kids are hoping to see Santa,” said Wendy Rodgers, Eldredge’s daughter.
Floats, horses, trucks and motorcycles rolled by. Police officers handed out candy. Small children in colorful costumes smiled and waved as they passed those lining the route.
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For many Springfield and Eugene residents, the parade was a sorely missed tradition and a welcome opportunity to bring family and friends together for the holiday season
“It’s fun for the kids, all of the kids,” said Misty Villanueva, who attended the parade with her husband and the rest of the family, many of whom wore their matching green Santa Claus pajama onesies. “We just made a little family gathering for ourselves.”
Contact reporter Adam Duvernay at [email protected] Follow on Twitter @DuvernayOR.