Mayor Eddie Lee has close ties with Santa Claus.
Lee said Santa’s red suit is drying after steady rain washed out a good portion of Wednesday’s York Christmas parade.
The York Comprehensive High School band and other parade participants were forced to cancel plans to march in the city’s annual parade because of ill-timed rain, which shortened the parade and confused some parade-goers.
Because the 80-something floats or parade groups finished the route quicker than usual, it created a delay between the last group and Santa’s arrival, which typically marks the end of the parade.
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A number of families, thinking the parade had finished without a visit from Kris Kringle, began heading back to their cars.
Traffic made it hard for Santa to get from the North Pole to York, said Mary Ward, executive director of the Greater York Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the parade.
Once the marching bands had to pull out of the parade, the timing got a little out of hand, she said. Earlier that morning, local band directors said they were comfortable with attending. But by the time the parade began at 4:30 p.m., the rain was too heavy, she said.
“They were on top of each other, and we were trying to get everybody out of the rain,” Ward said.
The chamber considered postponing the parade, but forecasts for Dec. 13 showed a high of just 40 degrees, she said.
But for those who did stick around — some of whom were watching from warm, dry cars — Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus did indeed appear, on the back of a York Fire Department ladder truck.
“Santa survives rain,” Lee said. “And Mrs. Claus is durable, too. I do know this, there was a lot of people still there. People were blowing their horns in the cars. Santa was just heading north back to the North Pole.”
Lee said Santa and Mrs. Claus needed to ride on the fire truck because the reindeer were feeling sick.
Still, if any child with Christmas cheer in their heart missed seeing Santa on Wednesday, they can catch up with him this weekend. He’ll be back for a “Breakfast with Santa” community event 8 a.m. Saturday at the York Recreation Center on White Rose Lane.
“I’m sure the suit will be dry by then,” Lee said.