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50th annual holiday parade to step off Saturday in Waynesboro

November 16, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Most people consider Thanksgiving the starting gate for the holiday rush, but in Waynesboro, the annual parade marks the beginning of the season.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, approximately 100 entries will line C.V. Avenue to march in the 50th annual Christmas Parade, according to MaryBeth Hockenberry, executive director of the Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce.

The 2006 parade is expected to be on par with last year as few changes have been made, Hockenberry said. The only significant change is a new Santa, she said.

Waynesboro's usual Santa took a vacation this year, so a different Santa, aka Hugh McNeill, will don the red velvet and wave to the town from the sleigh.

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While McNeill will play the jolly old elf this year, Hockenberry said "the old Santa will be back next year."

The parade also will feature seven marching bands and a record number of floats.

After the streets clear on Saturday and everyone goes home, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and a crew of volunteers will begin to tidy the town for the weekend events.

Immediately following the parade, a group of kids will clean the streets, but the Chamber of Commerce has deemed Nov. 30 Cleanup Night.

About a dozen volunteers will join Hockenberry downtown with leaf blowers, bags and rakes to remove leaves and trash from downtown Waynesboro.

"It will take about 45 minutes," she said.

The cleanup day is a tradition Hockenberry started a few years ago. Volunteers will clean between Broad and Grant streets, and remove any trash, leaves and debris from the sidewalks and store entranceways.

Yuletide in Waynesboro will be Dec. 2 and 3, and will include a host of events, including a strolling Santa, caroling, a model railroad display at the former Beck & Benedict Hardware building on Main Street, storytelling at the Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library, food vendors, and tree and wreath sales.

The annual tree lighting ceremony will be Friday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m.

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