MERIDEN — Christmas in the Village returned to South Meriden this weekend bringing families together and getting everyone in the holiday spirit.
The Santa Parade kicked off the afternoon on Saturday featuring Mayor Kevin Scarpati, local organizations and sports teams like the Meriden Raiders and Beat the Street Community Center — ending of course with Santa Claus and his elves.
The parade participants smiled and waved while walking down Main Street and sometimes tossed candy to the children watching along the sidewalks.
Ethan Pierce, a Meriden resident, brought his six-year-old son to experience Christmas in the Village.
“It’s nice, it’s good to have something to do during Christmas,” he said. “Now that I have my son, the parade is nice for the kids.”
Families also enjoyed live holiday music from local performers and horse-drawn carriage rides which proved to be a huge hit with a long line down the street.
Children played games, made crafts and spent time with Santa. Free hot chocolate, apple cider, popcorn and baked apples were available and almost everyone walked around with at least one in their hands.
Jeremy Kokoszka’s two kids waited for their balloon animals but Kokoszka said he always looks forward to the different treats offered.
“I was raised in Meriden for most of my life,” he said. “It’s nice to have stuff in the community where you can get out of the house and see some people.”
In addition to all of the holiday fun, there were also opportunities to donate canned food and coats going to the Salvation Army, books going to the Little Free Library and prom dresses going to Prom Angels.