Parents and children alike lined Bergenline Avenue from North Bergen to Union City on Tuesday, Dec. 11 waiting for a glimpse of Santa Claus.
Santa, accompanied by Frosty the Snowman, was riding with his reindeer atop the last float in The North Hudson Regional Firefighters third annual Christmas Parade last week. The North Hudson Firefighters and Fire Officers Association presented the parade.
Firefighters also jumped off the floats and fire engines to hand candy canes, coloring books and beginner reading books to each child during the parade.
The Parade began at 85th Street and Bergenline Avenue in North Bergen and traveled along Bergenline Avenue to 32nd Street and ended at P and L Grill at 590 32nd Street.
The firefighters' Christmas Parade has been an old tradition in the five northern Hudson County municipalities.
"Union City has been having their parade for the past 30 years," said President of the North Hudson Firefighters Association Glen Michelin, explaining that each municipality's fire department held their own Christmas parade before the towns regionalized into one department.
"We all had our own separate parades," said Firefighter Bill Renner, who was with the West New York Fire Department before the regionalization in 1999. "We decided to all come together for one parade after regionalization."
After the parade, Santa Claus and the firefighters hand out toys to kids outside of P and L Grill, the parade's main sponsor. This year, the firefighters bought about 5,000 toys and 20,000 candy canes to give to kids.
"We try to get a little more each year," said Michelin.
However, those who stood on line outside P and L Grill waiting for the free gifts missed most of the parade.
"Just waiting," said Stephanie Marone, 10,who was in the middle of the line that stretched about two blocks.
Jason Berozo, 7, and Soel Soler, 9, sharing the first in line position, tool advantage of the free hot chocolate and food provided by P and L grill while they were waiting.
Some donations for the parade came from UPS, United Water Company, Palisades Medical center, The law firm of Schneider, Goldberg and Leder based in Bergen County, Stan's Sports Shop in Hoboken and Perfect Party in Union City.
Hudson County News in North Bergen donated many of the coloring books, comic books and beginner reading books that were given away during the parade. Ampefil Distribution Co. in North Bergen donated some of the candy canes.
The parade included five floats, antique fire engines, the Emerson and Union Hill High School bands as well as the 82nd Airborne Color Guard and the United States Air Force color guard as well as other organizations.