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HAMMONTON - Despite being delayed for a day, the Hammonton Fire Department’s Christmas Parade still drew a crowd on Sunday night as fire trucks, floats, and Santa Claus himself came down Route 54 to bring some Christmas cheer.

The parade was filled with many participants, including fire trucks from companies throughout the area — such as Richland, Mizpah and, of course, Hammonton. The parade also included numerous floats from local businesses, churches and organizations.

“The main reason this year is that our parish, St. Mary of Mount Carmel, has a float for the first time in years. Plus, we haven’t been to a Christmas parade in years,” said Dan Sherman about why he and his wife Lydia ventured out to see the parade. The couple came prepared by bundling up and bringing blankets. However, Lydia was still reluctant to come. “He forced me here,” laughed Lydia all in good fun.

The town’s schools also were represented during the parade with a float from St. Joseph’s High School celebrating the school’s championship football team. Hammonton High School was represented by the school’s band, which would win first place in the parade’s Judge’s Awards category.

Rilynn and Scarlett Ingemi, 6 and 5, respectively, were ecstatic to come out to see the parade.

“I’ve been here twice, she [Scarlett] has been here once because I am the oldest,” said Rilynn proudly. Their mom, Amanda Ingemi, enjoys bringing her daughters out to town events. “We live in town and we try to come to everything; we love it,” said Ingemi.

Ingemi and her daughters deeply love the town of Hammonton, so much so that Scarlett confidently said that she will live in the town “for as long as I live.”

Even Santa himself made time in his busy schedule to stop by and take a ride in the parade on one of Hammonton’s very own fire trucks.

After each parade participant arrived at the corner of Bellevue and Central avenues, they were examined by judges who went on to choose winners in the three categories of Best Decorated Fire Apparatus, Best Decorated Non-Fire and Judges Awards. The winners in each category were:

Best Decorated Fire Apparatus

• 1st Place – Nesco Fire Company

• 2nd Place – Richland Fire Company

• 3rd Place – Berlin Fire Company

Best Decorated Non-Fire

• 1st Place – Victory Bible Church

• 2nd Place – Our Lady of Guadalupe

• 3rd Place – Paul Morris Dance Explosion

Judges Awards

• 1st Place – Hammonton High School Band

• 2nd Place – Scout Troop 58

• 3rd Place – Hammonton Center

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