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Make it a baker's dozen

Thirteen years ago, former North Syracuse Mayor James Hotchkiss took advantage of the beginning of the winter season and celebrated the coming holidays with a parade.

The community will once again welcome winter with a parade and tree lighting ceremony on Sunday Dec. 5, regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.

The parade will begin at 5 p.m. at the North Syracuse Baptist Church parking lot and proceed down Main Street to Centerville Place, ending at the holiday tree outside the North Syracuse Community Center, 700 S. Bay Road.

Director of Parks and Recreation Teresa Roth said, to her knowledge, the event has never been cancelled due to bad weather. However, at least twice in the last five years there were blustery gusts and freezing rain that caused the number of parade participants to dwindle.

Despite Mother Nature's intent this year, all indoor activities are still a go.

"We invite everyone inside for free cocoa and donuts at the library," Roth said.

In previous years, the event has brought out a couple hundred guests.

"It depends on the weather how many people we get," Roth said.

But there's one special guest who always arrives and this year is no different. Santa Claus will round out the parade and head for NOPL at North Syracuse to spend the evening with good boys and girls who would like to share their Christmas list with the jolly old elf.

Before heading to the library or North Syracuse Community Center for additional activities, people are invited to gather around the holiday tree in front of the center for the traditional, albeit brief, tree lighting. Roth said the North Syracuse Baptist Church choir plans to sing a few Christmas carols during the ceremony.

"We did this last year and it went over really well," she said.

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