It may have been a wet and gloomy day Saturday, but for an hour the Village by the Sea filled with Christmas cheer as the Holly Jolly Parade rolled through town.
And although the crowd had to brave the cold, the temperature was just right for Santa to stroll through Langley.
“It was an amazing turnout, actually,” Langley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Inge Morascini said. “It was particularly amazing considering it was pouring outside and a bit chilly.”
Nearly 300 people marched in the parade to swear in the holiday spirit, according to the chamber of commerce, which organized the event. A range of nonprofits, organizations and businesses walked alongside Santa and his fire engine-turned sleigh, including various 4-H groups, the Langley Community Club, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and Whidbey Telecom. As the party sauntered from the Langley Middle School bus barn to First Street, cheerful participants sang Christmas carols and tossed candy to eager bystanders.
Awards were doled out to Karen Graham and her horse Red for most lights, Whidbey Island Fair for most festive participant and Whidbey Telecom for most elves. Patricia Freedman marshaled the parade.
“I thought it was great,” Freeland resident Angela Rusk said. “Everybody sang songs like Jingle Bells all down the street. The kids loved it.”
For 4-H member and South Whidbey Elementary School student Angelena Brady, the weather didn’t get in the way of her good time. She took part in the parade for her first time, and planned to do it again in the future.
“The weather didn’t bother me at all,” Brady said. “I think it definitely feels like Christmastime now.”
About 15 minutes before the celebration, it seemed like the weather would get in the way of this year’s parade. Langley resident Sharen Heath remarked the town’s “hardcore parade-goers” were the ones lining the streets, attempting to seek refuge underneath roofs. Yet right as the clock neared 1 p.m., droves of bystanders started to show up in good numbers.
Heath later suggested she wasn’t surprised due to Langley’s numerous parades.
“Why does Langley have so many parades?” Heath said. “Well, why not?”