Scenes from Lowell: Santa Comes to Town

The man in red arrived in Lowell last Saturday. Santa and Mrs. Claus first headed to the Showboat to greet children from 2-4pm, and then, they were the stars of the annual Night-Time Santa Parade which started at 6pm and ran along Main Street through the historic downtown.

If you missed seeing Santa on Saturday, you’ll have plenty of opportunities this month. Santa Claus will be on the Lowell Showboat to visit with area families during the following times:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 5:30pm-7pm
  • Friday, Dec. 9, from 5:30pm-7:30pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10:30am-1pm
  • Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 5:30pm-7pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 17, from 10:30am-1pm
  • Wednesday, Dec. 21, from 5:30pm-7pm

There is a suggested $2 donation for visiting with Santa, and a professional photographer will be on-hand to take photos. Those digital images will be posted online for families to download and save. After visiting with Santa, head across the Riverwalk to the Chamber of Commerce building for cookies and hot cocoa.

Friday, Dec. 9, is also A Nite of Christmas Cheer. In addition to Santa visits, stop by the Riverwalk for the following from 5:30pm-7:30pm:

  • Hog dogs sponsored by Arctic Heating & Cooling
  • Roasted chestnuts sponsored by the Lowell Area Historical Museum
  • Horse and carriage rides
  • Live reindeer
  • Hot cocoa and cookies
  • Warming fires maintained by the Lowell Area Fire Department

And here’s a look back on Santa’s arrival in Lowell last Saturday:


As usual, people started lining up to see Santa well in advance of his arrival. It was a cold afternoon, but that blue sky isn’t photoshopped. The sun was fighting its way through the clouds in an attempt to warm everyone up.

It was comfortably warm inside the heated Showboat, though, and there were plenty of festive decorations and beautiful views of the river to enjoy while people waited to get to the front of the line.

Santa Claus was obviously happy to be back in Lowell, and Lowell children were equally as excited to see him.

After seeing Santa, many families headed to the Chamber building for cookies and cocoa. Volunteers from the Curiosity Corner/TOTS Program had also set up a collection of fun crafts that could be completed for free.


Then, at 6pm, families crowded along Main Street to watch the Nite-Time Santa Parade. Many years ago, the annual parade was held midday, but the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce moved the start time in 2007 so the parade could “light the night.” This year’s theme was “Christmas Toyland,” and parade entrants did not disappoint with an array of floats adorned with lights, lights and more lights.

But first, the parade kicked off with a police escort, a collection of fire trucks and two honor guards, including one from the Lowell Area Fire Department (seen above).

Businesses, non-profits and student groups all participated in the parade. Jim VanBeek and family submitted the entry above, which took home the second place prize from the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. It was edged out by first-place finisher Santa’s Elf Force and Charles Helmholdt.

While there were a lot of familiar faces on the parade route, the city attracted some newcomers as well, John Ball Zoo participated this year with the float above.


And it’s just not a parade without a band. Happily for Lowell residents and visitors, there were two during the Saturday night parade. Both the Lowell Middle School and the Lowell High School Bands played festive music as they marched down the street.

But really, the star of the parade was Santa and Mrs. Claus. As the two rolled by and wished everyone a Merry Christmas, it was the end of a magical evening.

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