Village Transforms into Whoville
Who-bilation to Surround Annual Christmas Parade
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Those ladies at the Washingtonville Community Events Council are at it again. Last month, their Halloween festival Witchingtonville was named one of the ten best fall family events in the Hudson Valley by various media groups. Now, they are gaining widespread media attention as they turn Washingtonville into a Whoville Who-bilation before the village’s annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on Dec. 1. “Everyone, the small and the tall, will be welcome to come get their Grinch on,” the event organizers said.
What does a Who do at a Who-bilation? “Celebrate the season starting with a How-the-Grinch-Stole-Breakfast at Betty’s Country Kitchen,” they said, where kids can eat Grinchcakes, Green Eggs and Ham, and Roast Beast, and be photographed with the green man himself as he darts around trying to stop Christmas from coming. Then, starting at 4:00 p.m., families can enjoy vendors, food, gifts, crafts, and Who-Christmas caroling in the center of town. Martha Barrera, one of the organizers, interviewed Washingtonville Police Department officers as they attempted to nab the Grinch. Videos posted on the Washingtonville Community Events Facebook page of various Grinch sightings around town — getting coffee at a local drive-thru, jogging along an elementary school hallway, trying to pilfer a cake at a birthday party — have earned the upcoming Who-bilation a spot on a Hudson Valley radio station and various media websites as anticipation mounts. There’s even a wanted poster out for him, and while his physical description is obvious, police also warn the public to use caution when confronting him, as “his heart is two sizes too small.”
The day will finish with the ninth annual Christmas Parade, organized by the Blooming Grove/Washingtonville Chamber of Commerce, which draws thousands to Washingtonville to see the parade of illuminated fire trucks and other vehicles glide down Main Street led by a team of Clydesdales and brought up at the rear by Santa Claus himself atop the Washingtonville Fire Department’s ladder truck. “Oh the noise, noise, noise, NOISE!” one resident said of last year’s celebration. How loud was it? “Just what you’d expect,” he said, “from jing-tinglers, floo-floovers, tar-tookas, and who-hoopers.” Parents of children who prefer a quieter experience are invited to gather at Vern Allen Park (at Ahern Blvd. and Rt. 94), where the parade steps off at 6:00 p.m., to see and touch the beautifully illuminated trucks before the sirens start and they roll down East Main Street. At 7:00 p.m., Santa will step down from the ladder truck, throw the switch on the Christmas tree, and light up the center of the village.
Washingtonville Mayor Joe Bucco will be on hand to help Santa greet the children. “Our town never ceases to amaze me. And celebrations like these make me think that…maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
While the Christmas lights will be strung and the lamppost wreaths hung by the DPW, the Village Beautification Committee will be busy adding festive decor to the potted pines on West Main Street on Nov. 24, turning them into Whoville Trees. They welcome everyone to join in helping prepare for the Who-bilation that is sure to please children and adults alike when the fun happens on Dec. 1.
CAPTION: Blooming Grove/Washingtonville Chamber of Commerce member and Washingtonville Community Events Council organizer Martha Barrera interviewed Washingtonville Police Department officers as they mounted a manhunt for the Grinch, who is currently at-large…Oh wait! There he is! (Photo provided)