Santa Claus Parade a success

By Beau Ebenezer

November 23, 2012 Updated Nov 23, 2012 at 9:15 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- As far as parades go, Peoria celebrated a big landmark.

Hundreds braved the cold making sure they didn't miss out on another year of holiday fun.

Bundled up in the thickest blankets and jackets, people from Central Illinois made it a point to be in downtown Peoria.

"We figure it's only gonna be a few minutes out here freezing but it's worth it because you get to see Santa Clause at the end," said parade goer, Cheri Crebo.

"The parade has kind of been a tradition. Get up on the day after thanksgiving and come down and enjoy this great tradition that Peoria has," said another parade goer, Jim Cochran.

They are talking about the country's longest running holiday parade, Peoria's 125th Annual Santa Clause Parade.

For the last thirteen years, if you take a look at the corner of Monroe and Fayette Street, you have probably seen this van.

And trying to stay warm inside of it, is Debbie Guppy and her daughter and grand kids.

"Well we got here early. This is our tradition every year. We get here about 8:30 to get our parking spot just incase it is really cold," said Guppy.

But the weather, isn't anything new to her and her family.

"Oh its actually been colder than this... we've been out here when it was snowing before and it was colder. So this isn't really to bad. Just the wind."

The parade included Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis who helped the Salvation Army collect food and coats for the needy.

The Peoria County Hawks semi-pro football team also pitched in, collecting canned goods in four oversized garbage cans.

The infamous and fan-favorite "Good Old Saint Nick" wrapped the parade up.

Cold weather or not, you know where the Santa Clause parade faithfuls will be.

"We always look forward to it. It's tradition for us. We're here no matter what," said Guppy.

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