Top 6 Reasons to Attend West Chester's Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration
November 11, 2015 | Ronna Dewey, Dish-Works.com
You better watch out.
You better not cry.
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to Downtown West Chester.
This 36-year-old tradition continues on Friday, December 4, at 7:15 p.m for the 2015 MARS Drinks Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade presented by QVC! It's filled with the spirit and magic of the holidays and is the perfect way to start celebrating the season.
Hosted by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce since 1979, the parade has grown to become one of the most popular events in the region, attracting about 35,000 spectators annually. What makes this parade so special, and why should you have it on your must-do list?
1. Small-Town Pride
Local high school marching bands, businesses, volunteer fire companies and other service organizations will join the many floats and antique vehicles that are mainstays in the Old-Fashioned Christmas experience. Line the streets downtown and cheer on your friends and neighbors as they proudly march in the parade.
2. Dress Up Like an Elf and Run Through Downtown West Chester (Seriously)
Have you ever run a race dressed as an elf in front of a cheering crowd? Well, now is your chance! Kick off the night with the seventh annual Jingle Elf Run. With children’s races, a two-mile run and a one-mile walk, there’s enough fun for the whole family to enjoy.
Register in advance to receive a complimentary jingle elf hat to sport during the race, or register in person after 5:30 p.m. the day of the event. The races will start at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of High and Market Streets and will follow the parade route in front of thousands of merry spectators. Prizes will be awarded to age-group winners, and cash is awarded to the top finishers in the two-mile run. Contestants will also be rewarded for the most creative holiday outfits, with a cash prize for the best-dressed elf!
3. Battle of the Bands
More than a dozen local high school marching bands will fill the streets with music in pursuit of a trophy and prize money during the 2015 Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade. Participating bands include West Chester Henderson, West Chester East, West Chester Rustin, Avon Grove, Downingtown, Bishop Shanahan, Owen J. Roberts, Chichester, Octorara, Daniel Boone Area High School, Jackson Liberty, Marple Newtown, Springfield (DelCo), Pottsgrove and A.I. duPont High School.
Participants will vie for more than $5,000 in prize money, with the grand champion awarded $1,200. Winners will be announced in front of the historic courthouse at the intersection of High and Market Streets immediately following the parade. With so much money at stake, you know that the performances will be out of this world!
4. Support Local Business
Before the parade, many of our local businesses will be hosting holiday open houses featuring seasonal refreshments and entertainment. Get a head start on your holiday shopping list before heading over to the parade.
5. Get Five Minutes of Fame (BONUS: Celebrity Sightings!)
Returning this year as Master of Ceremonies is 6abc’s own Adam Joseph, along with QVC hosts Carolyn Gracie and Dan Hughes. Carolyn, Dan and Adam will be introducing speakers, entertainers and other volunteers all night long. QVC will be broadcasting live, on-site, with parade updates. The company will also film extended parade highlights that will be broadcast periodically on Christmas Day (check local listings). After you finish opening all the presents, try to catch a glimpse of yourself on television!
6. Get Your First Seasonal Sighting of Santa
After all the bands, marchers, floats and antique cars have passed by, get a glimpse of Santa himself making his way down the streets of West Chester. There is a reason why USA Today called West Chester's Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration "one of the top 10 places to experience the arrival of Santa Claus during the holiday season." Come be a part of the wonder and excitement of Santa’s arrival.
More Parade Details
The parade will start at New and Market Streets before traveling east on Market Street. From there, the parade will head north on Matlack Street, then west on Gay Street and finally, finish south down New Street. View the parade route. Family Tip: The best early view of Santa occurs on West Market Street.
Explore what's happening in West Chester during Old Fashioned Christmas at DowntownWestChester.com.
Contact: Malcolm Johnstone