Today marked the annual Santa Parade, apparently a tradition on the North Shore. Since I had some time to kill while the laundry was going, I walked down a length of Cabot Street to observe and photograph|http://gallery.prwdot.org/santa_parade. Apparently, a representative entourage from each locality’s fire department was on hand to generate as much noise as possible. The streets were lined with fairly large crowds, and it was actually a pretty decent day for it – clear and cool, but not so cold that you’d freeze without a hat. There was at least one drum and bugle corps that I saw, handfuls of local businesses and government officials, and other local groups. It reminded me of most of the parades I had seen when I was growing up in Mount Vernon. I think the biggest difference now is that I have little or nothing at stake in terms of local interest… I don’t follow any Beverly sports or politics, am not involved in any Beverly organizations, and really don’t know many people in the city at all. I do patronize some Beverly area businesses, but as far as I was aware, none of them were represented in the parade. So it was moderately engaging for the few minutes I spent walking up and down, and snapping photos… but for the most part I was content to head home and finish up the laundry.