The weather outside was indeed frightful Friday evening when I ventured out in search of the Enon/Mad River Twp. Santa Parade. The first significant snow was falling and visibility was bad enough that Santa would have needed Rudolph if it was Christmas Eve.
I drove into the middle of Enon and lowered my windows. In the distance I could hear sirens, lots of sirens. I followed the sound and approached the pulsating red glow in the overcast and suddenly there it was, the Enon Santa Parade.
The Enon Santa Parade is different from most parades. It’s at night and it winds through the village and adjacent subdivisions. The parade has only two vehicles that have their sirens wailing and emergency lights flashing. One is a medic emergency squad and the other is a big fire truck totally covered by Christmas lights.
Frankly, when I saw it I was reminded of Clark Griswold’s house in the classic movie Christmas Vacation. There were glowing reindeer on the side of the truck and on the back on a brightly lit throne of honor sat Santa and Mrs. Claus.
This very noisy, bright procession was impossible to ignore.
Watching the neighborhood’s reactions as the parade rolled through town was entertaining.
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The timing of the Santa Parade was perfect this year, arriving during our first snow fall. The weather added additional excitement for the event.
More than one first snow ball fight was attempted as some families played in the snow as they waited for the Santa Parade. Actually the snow was too dry to form a ball so handfuls of snow had to do.
Some homeowners new to town rushed out in a panic trying to find out what was going on. They seemed pleasantly surprised to learn that the sirens on that night meant something good.
Longtime residents waited at their doors to step outside to wave at Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Some waited inside the garage with the door up. I saw elementary-aged kids bundled up and standing on the sidewalks as lookouts. As soon as they saw the flashers on their street, they would run in to tell the rest of the family. Everyone would run out to wave. Some ran out so quickly they were wrapped in comforters to keep warm instead of coats.
Andrea and Chris Holbrook with their children Gavin, Colt, and little Ainsley, had been waiting in their home for the procession. Andrea remembered the parade when she was growing up in Enon and wanted the family to see it. They were excited for 1-year-old Ainsley to see it for the first time since she was too little last year. Once Santa had passed by and the street was dark and cold again, the boys were more than ready to go back into the warm house.
Rob and Lisa Byrum didn’t want to miss the Santa Parade this year. Last December they learned too late that the parade turned just before their house as it wound through Green Meadows. This year they bundled up 4-year-old Jacob and walked down the street to wait. They weren’t disappointed.
“It’s nice of them to do that,” she said, explaining that the parade brings back happy holiday memories. Things like this made her glad to live in this area.
Elmer Beard of the Enon/Mad River Fire Department told me that it was a good thing that Santa and Mrs. Claus were used to the cold weather at the North Pole. They spent the whole evening riding on top of that fire truck. I hope they thaw out by Christmas.
Beard wanted me to mention two more special Enon traditions are on the calendar before Christmas.
The Knob Prairie Church Cookie Walk will be this Saturday, Dec. 16, beginning at 9 a.m. It will last until all of the cookies are gone, which is usually just before noon. This homemade cookie-and-fudge exchange has been going on for 14 years. The church is located at 203 W. Main St. in Enon.
Early on Christmas Eve, parents can arrange for Santa Claus to make a personal home visit if they live in the Greenon School District. The Med-Lake Lions Club and the Enon Mad River Twp. Volunteer Fire Association is keeping this 63 year Enon tradition going. Please contact Beard at EnonLionsSanta@aol.com or call 937-864-7461 before Dec. 21 to reserve a time slot between 6 and 8 p.m. This is a free community service project but donations will be accepted to keep it going.
As Christmas gets closer, please take time to be extra attentive to your neighbors and friends, especially those who have recently suffered a loss or serious illness. Looking out for each other and sharing the love is part of the Christmas spirit.
Have a great holiday season.
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