Santa, elves, reindeer among Tinley Park parade guests
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org December 1, 2012 6:34PM
Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the crowd during Christmas festivities at the Metra station and on Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park, Illinois, Saturday, December 1, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
Updated: January 31, 2013 2:03AM
The Christmas season officially arrived in Tinley Park on Saturday when Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and a box of gifts rolled into town in a convertible.
They appeared as the guests of honor in the village’s annual Toyland Parade, which rolled north on Oak Park Avenue before veering East on South Street.
Hundreds of people gathered at the corner while some waited in line outside Santa’s visiting booth before his arrival.
Lasaundra Burt, of Country Club Hills, took her 10-month-old daughter Jalah Honey to the show. Burt’s boyfriend’s mother lives in Tinley Park, and she thought it would be good for her daughter to take in a little holiday cheer.
“She was happy and waving,” Burt said. “She didn’t need her ‘bobo’ — her pacifier — today.”
The parade was part of a holiday celebration held near the downtown Metra station.
Christmas trees decorated by various businesses, organizations and schools lined the village square, and the sound of holiday music was piped in through overhead speakers.
Tiney Park police officers and firefighters led the parade down Oak Park Avenue, sounding their alarm that the man from the North Pole was on his way.
Two elves, as well as a reindeer, a penguin and a snowman followed behind carrying a sign announcing the parade. After Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, schoolchildren and local dance teams walked by and waved at the crowd, Santa Claus closed out the parade.
Kim James, of Tinley Park, came out to see her 7-year-old son Alex march in his troop of local Boy Scouts.
“It’s a great time for family to come out to get together and start the holiday season,” James said.
Her youngest son, Benjamin, said he was eager to see Santa Claus.
“He gives me presents,” Benjamin said.
Sara Poty, of New Lenox, took the parade as an opportunity to show her family where she grew up in Tinley Park.
She was there with her two sons as well as her husband, Seth.
Poty said her sons — like many children — love Christmas.
“It’s because they feel it’s magical and they get to see the lights,” Poty said.