LOWELL | It will be a Currier and Ives Christmas scene Friday in the historic downtown when Santa makes his entrance as the finale to the 11th annual Lowell Parade of Lights.
It's all part of Holiday Magic, sponsored by the Lowell Parks Department and the Lowell Chamber of Commerce and held against the backdrop of the town's historic district.
It begins at 4 p.m. Friday at nearby Liberty Park, where children are invited to search for sweets in the Candy Cane Hunt. Those with a golden bow get an even sweeter prize.
Then, at 6, more than 24 entries will light up the night as they wend their way from the Lowell Public Library along Commercial Avenue to American Legion Post 101.
"We're excited. There are so many great entries," Laura Foresta, the parks assistant recreation director, said.
With a special guest from Whoville leading the way, parade watchers will enjoy a variety of entries, including floats with winter and "Nutcracker" themes, a kiddie train, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and four-footed friends with lighted leashes and collars from the award-winning Lowell Bark Park.
Santa Claus will make his appearance atop his sled as the parade finale before making his way to Legion Park where he will light the town's Christmas tree. Children are then invited to visit with Santa at Lowell Town Hall, 501 E. Main St., where he will pose for free pictures and listen to special wishes.
Everyone can enjoy cookies and hot chocolate and join in a raffle for a 6-foot stocking filled with goodies, Foresta said.