Thursday, November 20, 2014

Elizabethtown is prepared to kick off the holiday season in style

Santa Claus will arrive in downtown Elizabethtown once again this year as part of the annual holiday parade at 6 p.m. this coming Saturday. The theme is "A Storybook Holiday." Unlike last year, the weather forecast looks to be clear, albeit a little cold with temperatures in the 30s. But it's a holiday parade, and it's supposed to be cold, right?

If you've never experienced the parade, it is one of the largest community events, with thousands of people -- many of them youngsters waiting for parade participants to hand out candy and get a peek of Santa -- jammed into downtown. As of Monday, borough staff reported that there were 52 groups entered to participate -- from fire departments and marching bands to community organizations and churches.

We did decide to hold the parade earlier than in the past, thanks to an encounter with snow last year that canceled the parade. I personally received several complaints, and I believe my fellow councilmen did, too. We had typically held the parade on the first Saturday in December, but with the inclement weather last year and that first Saturday being a week into the month, it was difficult to reschedule. We should be in good shape this year with the November date and a rain/snow date of Dec. 6.

If you are keeping tabs on how to get around town during the parade, participants will line up on Bainbridge Street toward the Dove Chocolate factory. The parade will proceed onto Market Street and through the square and end at Hummelstown Street. Traffic will be able to get around the route by using Spruce Street.

I hope you can make it to the parade and help us get the holiday season kicked off in Elizabethtown in style!


  1. Call me traditional, but I prefer the parade on the first Friday of December like it had been for years. You never had to worry about keeping track of the date and it allowed a family to enjoy thanksgiving without the intrusion of the December holidays.

    1. I appreciate your feedback and understand wanting to keep the date as it was. We encountered two problems with that. First was the weather, which was a problem last year (and in years past). Which leads to the second problem: If the parade on Dec. 6 is canceled, the most likely rain date is a week later. And since Santa is supposed to arrive with the parade, we're already two weeks into the Christmas season by then. It sort of loses its oomph, in my opinion.

      After Borough Council was done walking in the parade, I circled back and joined my family with some friends. All of them told me they appreciated having the parade today because it gets people into the holiday spirit. My point in relaying this is, some people like it. Some people don't. And for those of us in borough government, there's the rub: You can't please everyone all the time.

  2. Totally get it that you cant please everyone. We choose not to focus on Christmas and Santa at least until Advent begins, so we elected not to take our family this year. Too confusing with what we are trying to teach the kids. Hopefully the dates will line up better next year!


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