Monday, November 21, 2011

Brockton doubles Santa hats record downtown

BROCKTON — By Maria Papadopoulos

Posted Nov 20, 2011 @ 05:50 PM

Last update Nov 20, 2011 @ 06:24 PM

Wearing her Santa hat downtown on Sunday paid off handsomely for 9-year-old Kimberly Jean-Baptiste.  The Brockton third-grader won an iPad – worth several hundred dollars – in a free raffle. She couldn’t stop smiling as she clutched her new technological toy and as hundreds of people looked on.

“Yes!” Jean-Baptiste, a student at the Huntington Elementary School, squealed as she jumped up and down.

She was among 1,792 people who organizers say wore Santa hats in downtown Brockton on Sunday – a feat that more than doubled the city’s Santa Claus hat-wearing record from last year, when 872 people donned Santa hats.

“That’s unbelievable. Whoever’s watching, that’s pretty big,” said organizer JohnMerian, a member of the Greater Brockton Holiday Parade planning committee, who planned the Santa Hat Challenge.

The hat challenge is part of the committee’s efforts to celebrate Brockton’s history as the city with the first-ever department store Santa Claus, played in 1890 by James Edgar, owner of the downtown Edgar’s Department Store.

Many of the elementary schools in the area decorated the hats before Sunday.

Riley McEvoy, 5, of Brockton, was among city schoolchildren who wore a Santa hat.

“I saw Santa and I liked him,” said McEvoy, a student at the Baker Elementary School.

Maryann Lam of Brockton donned her Santa hat, as did her black Springer Spaniel, Baby.

“I want to help them win,” Lam, 47, said.

Brockton Elections Commissioner John McGarry dressed up as Santa Claus for the event.

The event closed off the one-block stretch of Main Street, at Crescent Street. Festivities began at 2:30 p.m. with DJ Joe Lupica playing holiday music. The official count happened in front of the parking garage at 3:30 p.m.

At that time, the entire crowd turned in one direction to pose, wearing the hats, for the official group photograph.

The crowd danced to the songs “Macarena” by Los del Rio and “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas.

Liza Talusan donned a Santa hat with her two children, Joli Vega, 8, and Jada Vega, 5.

“This is amazing,” said Talusan, 36, of Brockton, who works as Stonehill College’s director of intercultural affairs. “This is Brockton right here, really great people, great families.”

Mayor Linda Balzotti said she was proud of the hundreds of residents who turned out.

“It’s just such a great day,” she said.
Maria Papadopoulos may be reached at

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Brockton High School Santa Hat Day

Santa hats marks holiday season at Brockton High

Nov 19, 2011 @ 08:07 AM

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nominations Open for Annual James Edgar Community Service Award -Brockton, MA

The Downtown Brockton Association is accepting nominations for the annual James Edgar Community Service Award, sponsored by Good Samaritan Medical Center.
The James Edgar Community Service Award is given each year to the person in the community who best exemplifies Edgar’s spirit of generosity toward the city’s children. The recipient must be a Brockton resident.
James Edgar was an immigrant from Edinburgh, Scotland who opened Edgar’s Department Store on Main Street in Brockton. In December of 1890, he dressed up as Santa Claus based on a popular illustration of a jolly Santa drawn in 1863 by the famous cartoonist Thomas Nast. Edgar did not intend for this to be a commercial attraction. He did it for the enjoyment of the children and to promote Christmas. It began the tradition of the department store Santa Claus. Within days trains from as far away as Boston and Providence brought families and their children to downtown Brockton to see Santa. The idea quickly transferred to department stores around the country and continues to this day. A city park is named for him.
To nominate someone for the James Edgar Award, please submit the following:
  • Your Name and Contact Information including Phone Number and eMail Address
  • The Name and Address of the Person you are Nominating
  • A detailed description of how this person has benefitted the children of Brockton
    and why they deserve this recognition.

    Please keep responses to a maximum of 250 words.
The deadline for submitting nominations is Noon on Friday, November 4th.
Please submit nominations to:

Jennifer Kovalich, communications manager, Good Samaritan Medical Center at:
Robert Malley, Executive Director, Brockton Parking Authority, at
The recipient of the James Edgar Award will be honored during the 25th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 26th. The honoree’s name will also be included on the Edgar Plaque on the James J. Adams Parking Garage on Main and Crescent streets.
Each person may only nominate one individual.

You Can Also E-Mail Them To

Mail Them To:
James Edgar Community Service Award1st Department Store Santa
137 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Send Us YOUR Santa Pictures, and tell us a memory!

Share an American Tradition with the millions who have found joy thanks to Mr. James Edgar "The First Department Store Santa" Send Us YOUR Written Memories and or Santa Pictures So We Can Post Them To The Site.
You Can E-Mail Them To
Mail Them To:
Santa Memories
1st Department Store Santa
137 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(include a stamped self-addressed envelope if you want your photo returned)

Click Here To Upload A Picture To Our Facebook Fan Club

Click Here To See Some Already Posted!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Downtown Brockton Massachusetts Holiday Parade Cover Contest Art Submitted

Over 150 pictures of art created by students from Brockton were submitted to the Holiday Parade Committee on Wednesday October 26 for review.  The winner will get their drawing featured on the 2011 Holiday Parade Booklet.  Thank you to all those who submitted drawings this year.............For more information about Brockton's Santa Hat Challenge and The 25th Anniversary Holiday Parade go to  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Christmas in July Brockton, MA

Planning already under way for the 25th Annual Brockton Downtown Holiday Parade

     The weather may be hot and humid but some people are already planning this year's 25th Annual Brockton Downtown Holiday Parade.  Although the parade is months away, organizers have been hard at work planning all of the details for the holiday extravaganza.  "The 25th anniversary Downtown Holiday Parade is going to be our biggest and best yet," said John Merian, chairman of the Holiday Parade Committee.  "The City of Champions will shine like the bright star that it is."

     This year's holiday parade will be held on November 26th.  The parade will kick off at 1p.m. and wind its way through the downtown, ending at City Hall.

     Many of the favorite traditions will continue this year, including free photos of children with Santa, the arts and crafts bazar and tree lighting at City Hall, the James Edgar Department Store display and community service award.

     Last year Dave Gorman, founder of the Kid's Road Races and long-time community volunteer, was the first recipient of the James Edgar Community Service Award, sponsored by Good Samaritan Medical Center.  The committee is again seeking nominations for this distinguised award.

     Edgar, a Scottish immigrant who had a popular store on Main Street, became the nation's first department store Santa Claus in 1890 when he dressed us as the character depicted in a Thomas Nast drawing. ~~~~~The Enterprise