Santa star attraction at holiday festivities
Posted: November 27, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — The reindeer apparently had Monday night off, so Santa Claus made other arrangements.
The jolly old elf himself was on hand to close out the Old Town Christmas Parade, but his transportation was improvised. Instead of depending on Rudolph and the gang to get him around downtown Winchester, he and his sleigh were towed by a Jeep outfitted with antlers on the front.
The absence of his four-legged transportation didn’t seem to bother any of the children and adults who turned out for the event. Santa capped the evening by throwing a candy-cane switch to light the Christmas tree on the Loudoun Street Mall.
The event was co-sponsored by the Winchester Parks and Recreation Department and the Old Town Development Board.
Six-year-old Emily Cooper, a veteran of three or four Christmas parades, offered a simple reason for why she prefers the event to the parades held during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.
“Because Santa Claus comes,” said Emily, an Indian Hollow Elementary School student who lives in Shawneeland.
She quickly turned her attention to the parade to wave at her brother John, 4, as he passed by on a float for the Grace Lutheran Preschool.
It was the first Christmas parade for 4-year-old Taylor Simpson of Stephenson, who wore a pink sequined hat to keep her warm. She, too, was most enthused about seeing Santa.
While he might have been the main attraction, Santa wasn’t the only one in the parade. More than 40 entries marched and rolled through the city as the event lasted about 45 minutes.
Temperatures in the mid-30s nipped at the nose and gave the event a wintry feel. Traditional holiday tunes such as “Let It Snow!” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” echoed through the streets as marching bands passed by, adding to the atmosphere.
Those bands provided the highlight for Anthony Lemus, a student at Evendale Elementary School, who was accompanied by his sister Zaira, 4, among others.
His favorite part? “When the people came marching with the drums,” he said.
The camel also was a hit with 9-year-old Anthony.
Owen Wade, 6, said he “liked the parade a lot.” All animals were his favorite part.
The Orchard View Elementary School student also got to see his brother Seth, 14, participate as part of Follow the Star, the live nativity scene group from Fellowship Bible Church.
Before the tree lighting, the crowd joined in as the Blue Ridge Choristers Choir sang carols. Santa hung around after illuminating the tree to meet with some of the children.
— Contact Vic Bradshaw at email@example.com