SCRANTON, Pa. -- A snowstorm had some worried whether this year's Santa parades would still go on, but nearly a foot of snow right before the parades in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton wasn't enough to dash the holiday plans.
On Friday, Scranton city officials said clearing the streets and sidewalks was a priority to make sure the Santa Parade went smoothly, but people who came to the parade said they wouldn't have missed it even if they had to throw on a pair of snowshoes to get there.
Santa Claus made his way through downtown Scranton Saturday morning on his horse-drawn carriage for the 26th annual Santa Parade, saying he may have been the reason for all the snow that pummeled the city Thursday into Friday.
"I have a new snow machine, and it's out of control right now. I've got to learn how to adjust it," Santa said.
The Stormtracker 16 team might have a different idea as to the reason for all the snow, but parade-goers thought it was fitting for the holiday event.
"We did not expect this snow at all, but it's perfect. What a perfect backdrop for today," said Maura Smith of Scranton.
The snow served as a glowing backdrop for marching bands, animals, and community organizations that came to celebrate the season.
"It's a little chilly out, but we're super excited to be out here spreading joy," said Valley View senior Kathryn Oleary. "It's nice to get together with everyone in the community."
People along the parade route came prepared. Bundled up, they tell Newswatch 16 a little snow and some chilly weather couldn't keep them from this year's Santa Parade.
"It's a Scranton tradition. You have to come out. You have to see Cookie Sprinkleton, and it's their first year coming to the Scranton parade, so why not?" said Alicia and Leonardo Burda of Scranton.
Some who came to watch the balloons and floats circle around Courthouse Square were more prepared than others. Others, like Marcus Adames of Scranton, found creative ways to keep warm. He held his dog inside his coat.
"Helping him out a little bit more than he's helping me out, but we're getting through it, so it's OK," Adames said.
Attendees say the spectacle of it all is well worth a little discomfort.
"We've been doing it for a couple years now, just a good time, gets you in the mood, you know?" Adames added.
"Definitely worth the struggle, always worth it for the Santa Parade," said Katrina Domkowski of Plymouth.
We did see some parking spaces blocked by snow mounds, and people told us traffic caused some delays, but the turnout did not seem to be affected by the even the slightest challenges facing the parade.