Jay Walsh remembers when he was five years old and his father John Walsh and family friend Richard Viger started the Christmas Eve parade around Lynn. This year his 4-year old daughter Jayla will be Elsa on on one of the “Frozen” floats that will headline the parade this year.
John Walsh, owner of John’s Oil, said the parade started 28 years ago with dear friend Richie Viger, who passed away two years ago at the age of 52. Viger came up with the idea and now the parade also has another name, “Richie Viger’s The People’s Parade.” There are now 30 different organizations involved with the 24-mile parade route.
“He was the master mind. Now there’s about 15 main people involved. This year the theme for several floats is ‘Frozen’,” Jay Walsh said, as his stood in his garage next to his fishing boat that has been turned into the main Frozen float.
“Richie got the idea in 1985 after Saugus had a similar parade,” I turned one of my oil trucks into a flatbed to make the first float.”
The first year had only three floats and now there are 180 floats, emergency vehicles and the Lynn Police. This year there are several new floats – Rapunzel, Maximillus the horse from Frozen,a replica of High Rock Tower and a lighthouse. There will be floats from Local 201, General Electric, G & J Towing, Douglas Towing and of course the John’s Oil Antique oil truck. Once again Janet Melanson will be Mrs. Claus.
Jay Walsh said there are videos of previous parades on You Tube and if you go to Official Lynn MA Christmas Parade on Facebook you will be able to have up-to-date information on where the parade is going.
Jay Walsh added that he knows to parade stops traffic around the city and some people may get mad, but it’s a tradition that seeks to give something back to the community.
5 pm – Summer Street, Austin Square
5:15 pm – Boston St., Myrtle St, Holyoke St., O’Callaghan Way
5:30pm – Walnut St., Linwood St., N. Franklin St., right onto
5:45 pm – Boston St., Cottage St., McDonough Sq.
6pm – Western Ave., Market Sq., S. Common St., Pleasant St., State St.,
6:30pm – Broad St., Lewis St., Lafayette Park
6:45 pm Fayette St., Essex St., Chestnut St.,
7:15pm – Western Ave., Chatham St., Lewis St., left onto
7:45 pm – Eastern Ave to Western Ave.
8 pm – Standwood Rd., Fernwood Ave., Chase Rd., Euclid Ave. to Broadway
8:30pm – Jenness St., Den Quarry Rd. Cedar Brook Road
9 pm – York Rd. Casco Rd.,
9:15 pm – Lynnfield St. Wyoma Sq.
9:30pm – Broadway, Boston St. Lynngate Plaza