Karen Gregory and her family always commandeer an intersection for Boca’s annual holiday parade. They even spread a blanket on the street. “We’ve been doing this for 20 years,” she said before the 48th annual version along Federal Highway Wednesday night.
Shops and restaurants gear up for an evening that brings thousands of spectators downtown.
Coconut Consignment Company set chairs outside and had a party inside with food and refreshments. “We do this one night a year,” said owner Richard Harris.
Tracy Hart got there early for a front row seat on the grandstand at Sanborn Square. “My daughter is in the color guard for Spanish River High School’s marching band,” she said about Christina Reich.
The band was 49th in the line of march among 76 units with 4,000 marchers. That’s what families and children came to see, some bundled in blankets against chilly temperatures.
This year was a Broadway theme for the local police and fire units, marching bands, floats, dancers, Scout troops, businesses, and even rugby players. Boca Fire Services Honor Guard unfurled a big flag to honor President George H.W. Bush. His funeral was Wednesday.
Not much candy was thrown from the floats Mardi Gras-style this year, said Frank Correggio and Frank Forte. They did a running commentary over loudspeakers.
Santa arrived on a fire truck, marking the traditional end of the 2.5-hour parade. Before the 7:30 p.m. start, the street was full of Jingle Bell runners who got a big hand from the crowd.
By Marci Shatzman