By Cary Shuman
Lynn City Councillor Jay Walsh says that Janet Melanson will be making her final appearance in the role of Mrs. Santa Claus in the Lynn Christmas Eve Parade that is set for Sunday, Dec. 24, beginning at 5 p.m. in Austin Square.
Walsh, coordinator of the parade, said Melanson told him she will be retiring after many years as the wife of the beloved Saint Nick (Tom Laramie).
“Janet has been doing this for 30 years for us, and this will be her last appearance as Mrs. Claus,” said Walsh. “Though she is retiring, she will still be active in the parade.”
Walsh thanked Melanson for her efforts over the past three decades.
“The parade committee wants to thank Janet for her years as Mrs. Claus,” said Walsh. “We’re also grateful that she will be staying on the committee and helping out. If there weren’t people like Janet and other people in the city who do this, the parade wouldn’t be possible. It takes a lot of people to do this and Janet staying on is really crucial to us.
Walsh took over leadership of the parade committee following the passing of Rich Viger in 2013. Mr. Viger was a co-founder of the parade 31 years ago.
Walsh’s parents, John and Laurie Walsh, have been instrumental in the organizing of the parade since its inception. John’s Oil sponsors the truck that transports Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The Lynn Fire Department, the Lynn Police Department, and G and J Towing have also been very helpful in making it a safe event along the parade route that passes through several streets before ending at the Lynngate Plaza.
“We’ll have more than 100 floats and there will be a couple of surprises along the way,” said Walsh. “There will be a gender reveal for a couple’s baby off of Euclid Avenue. I think you’ll see a lot of people along the parade route recognizing Janet for all she’s done to make the parade so much fun for everyone through the years.”