By Washingtonville Christmas Parade Biggest Ever
Washingtonville kicked off the holiday season with its seventh annual Christmas Parade, organized by the Blooming Grove/Washingtonville Chamber of Commerce, on Dec. 2. It was the biggest the village has yet seen, with an estimated 3,500 people, many from surrounding towns, coming to see the lit vehicles roll down Main Street.
The parade of about 40 vehicles was paced by the Tetz Clydesdale horses leading floats from civic organizations and local businesses filled with children and adults waving to the crowd. The main attraction consisted of huge firetrucks from area departments gaily decorated in holiday lights, one of the most impressive the South Blooming Grove ladder truck disguised as a giant candy cane.
Firefighters atop their department’s trucks, one completely and cleverly redesigned as a green and white Hess truck and pulling a racecar, had to crouch to pass under the streetlight in town, while the last ladder truck from Monell Engine Company stopped at the E.J. McLaughlin Commons, delivering Santa to the children. Santa counted down from 10 and then flipped the switch on the huge Christmas tree in center square, which will remain lit into January.
The pre-parade festivities consisted of an all-new Holiday Craft Fair, organized by the Placemaking events committee, at the municipal lot across from Betty’s, which had live music by local band The Vibe on the porch playing Christmas tunes as well as family-friendly rock and roll covers. The Marketplace sold handcrafted holiday items made by local residents, many as fundraisers for student clubs.
Meanwhile, over at The Lot across from center square, children greeted Mrs. Claus, wrote letters to Santa, enjoyed a free hot chocolate bar provided by Betty’s, and had their faces painted by Sterling Tattoo. They also got to do a free craft at Nailed It Hardware.
Then the parade came by and the rest, as they say, is history, which in the case of the Washingtonville Christmas Parade, is now a staple in this thriving town, something residents and visitors young and old from all over Orange County look forward to every year.
(Photos by Laurie Baisley) See lots more photos in this week’s Orange County Post