BS parade santa h

Santa flies down Second Street Saturday at the end of the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade sponsored by the Belmont Shore Business Association.

Former Mayor Beverly O'Neill has been announced as the grand marshal for the 37th annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade on Dec. 7.

O'Neill was mayor from 1994 to 2006, and rode in every parade during that period. She said she hasn't been in one since then.

"I'm just very honored," O'Neill said. "I'm excited about it. It kind of came out of the blue when Dede (Rossi, executive director of the Belmont Shore Business Association) called. I'm looking forward to it."

O'Neill will be one of more than 100 entries in the parade sponsored by the BSBA. Most current elected city officials will be riding in the parade as well.

Rossi said it was past time O'Neill, who lives on the Peninsula, acted as grand marshal for the parade. A special car is being reserved for her, Rossi added.

"I'm just gonna wave," O'Neill said. "I hope to see a lot of people I recognize. But it goes so fast."

The parade steps off at 6 p.m. at the west end of Second Street at Livingston Drive. Entries traverse the 14-block business district, turn around at Bay Shore Drive, and return to the starting point.

Rossi said entries still are being accepted, with more than 80 signed up at the end of last week. Sponsors are needed for nonprofits ($400) and school bands ($500), she said. Email her at dede@belmontshore.org.

This year's parade theme is "Your Holidays Start On 2nd." The BSBA Christmas celebration start with the parade, and will continue through December.

A Santa's House will pop up at the corner of La Verne Avenue and Second Street, and be home to both Santa Claus and live music on the street. There will be caroling on Friday, Dec. 13, and Santa will be home for visits noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 15 and 22, and from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20.

Rossi said there also will be a Menorah lighting Dec. 22, as well.

For more information, go to www.belmontshore.org

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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