Santa Loves a Parade

Forget the flying sleigh and magical reindeer; in Florida, Santa rides a fire truck. For the past 43 years, Boca Raton has thrown ol' Saint Nick his very own parade, and every year, it concludes with his fire-truck farewell. Beginning in 1970, the parades were held on Saturday afternoons, but the sweltering December sun was too strong for Santa's rosy cheeks. In 1983, the annual parade was moved to Wednesday evenings -- the twinkling, multicolored lights shine brighter at night too. There will be school marching bands, color guard, and, of course, plenty of baton twirlers. Police cars will blast their sirens and flash their lights. Forty decorated floats will pass by, kick-starting the holiday season. Most floats will also incorporate this year's superheroes theme, whether it's paying homage to vintage comic-book figures or more inconspicuous heroes like teachers and veterans. The parade route heads down Federal Highway from Glades Road to Camino Real. The parade officially starts at 7:30 p.m., but since 10,000 people are expected to attend, come at least an hour early and with a collapsible chair, cold refreshments, and holiday cheer. Call 561-393-7827, or visit
Wed., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., 2013
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson