North Augusta’s school marching bands came out, many playing Christmas carols, including Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Belvedere Elementary’s float had a candy theme, with the kids surrounded by big blue and pink lollipops.
Residents of the parade’s route along Georgia Avenue set out lawn chairs and benches along the street. Neighbors were cooking hot cocoa and cider and passing out to strangers.
“It’s a little crisp today,” said Helen Wilder. “This parade is about community, and we are just trying to make sure everyone stays warm.”
A little farther down the road, Jamal Jenkins was with his two daughters, Camile, 7, and Cassandra, 3.
“It’s the little one’s first parade,” he said. “I don’t think she quite gets it, but she’s smiling, so I’m happy.”
Some of the city’s four-legged friends joined in the parade as well, including some horses dressed up with reindeer antlers, and Red Roof Dog Grooming brought some small dogs dressed up in little Santa suits.
Jumpin Beans Inflatables Inc. showed the crowd that “Elves Party Too” with kids dressed up as Santa’s go-to helpers on their float. Cub Scouts Pack 7 marched, if a little disjointedly, dressed up in their uniforms. Behind them followed the North Augusta Girl Scouts in theirs.
Santa showed up on top of a fire truck to greet the crowd just two weeks before his big night.