Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christmas Comes to Walnut Street; A Fun Run, Fried Food and Santa Himself Liven Up the Annual Christmas Parade

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christmas Comes to Walnut Street; A Fun Run, Fried Food and Santa Himself Liven Up the Annual Christmas Parade

Article excerpt

Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY

Kacey Theobald got right to the point.

"Are you real?" the 6-year-old asked Santa Claus, who certainly looked the part in red suit and cap, long white hair and beard and a jolly smile.

Santa assured Kacey he was indeed real. He even took off his cap to show the youngster that his hair and beard were real as well.

"All this is real," Santa said.

Kacey was still unsure, lightly tapping Santa's belly with his finger.

"You're not fat enough to be Santa," he said.

Santa said he is trying to follow a more healthy lifestyle. Even Santa, he said, has to lose weight sometimes.

After a big hug from Santa, Kacey finally appeared convinced. So the big man walked on down Walnut Street to mingle with other children.

Kacey was one of hundreds of people who watched Green Cove Springs' Christmas parade on Saturday. The 41st annual parade was held in conjunction with the second and final day of Christmas on Walnut Street, the downtown celebration sponsored by the Green Cove Springs Merchants Association.

A fire truck and ambulance put an unexpected kink in the parade route when someone in the crowd needed medical help - near the intersection of Palmetto Avenue and Walnut Street, the heart of the parade route and the holiday celebration.

The parade was briefly halted so the fire truck, ambulance and the emergency medical personnel could get through to provide aid.

Also, the antique fire truck Santa and Mrs. Claus rode in the parade also caused a brief stir.

Traditionally, they are the last entry in the parade. But after the parade started, city officials realized Santa's truck had inadvertently been lined up in mid-parade. The antique truck was briefly sidelined, allowing the rest of the parade to pass so Santa would be at the rear where onlookers expected him to be. …

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