By Eric Yun
On most Saturday afternoons closing half of Jamaica Avenue would be an annoyance for drivers, customers and small business owners. But exceptions are made when Santa comes to town, and it becomes a fun event for the entire community.
Organized by the Woodhaven Business Improvement District (BID), the annual “Welcome Santa to Woodhaven” parade was held on Saturday afternoon. Maria Thomson, Executive Director of the Woodhaven BID, has helped organize the event for more than 20 years.
“We write to the North Pole and get Santa to come, and it’s a fun, fun event for the kids,” Thomson said.
Participants started at 96th Street and marched west on Jamaica Avenue to Dexter Street. Afterwards, children had the opportunity to take pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause.
“The parade was very fun. My daughter loved it,” said resident John Hernandez. “It’s good to participate in community events.”
The festive event brought out people from their businesses and homes with smiles. “It’s very nice. So beautiful,” said one resident who took a break from shopping to watch Santa and the children march by.