Towns' residents love a parade

November 19, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

FRANKLIN COUNTY, PA. - Bundled in winter coats and hats, Collin Blubaugh and Braxton Matthews bounced excitedly as they waited for more candy to scuttle across the pavement in their direction.

"I am just here for the candy," Collin said between screams of "Over Here! Over Here!" to those participating Saturday in the Greencastle Christmas Parade.

Huddled in a blanket, Joyce Calimer smiled and waved at the troupes of children, mascots and marching bands from her lawn chair. The lifetime resident of Waynesboro can't remember when she first started coming to the annual Christmas Parades in Waynesboro, but neither can she remember a year when she didn't find her spot along the route.

For many people in the Waynesboro-Greencastle area, the Saturday before Thanksgiving means one thing - parade day.

As early as 9 a.m., residents stake their claim along Pa. 16 in Greencastle for the first parade, and chairs linger along the road in Waynesboro until well after 3:30 p.m. The cold wind blowing Saturday morning was not enough to stop thousands of candy-hungry children waiting for some sugar to fly their way, proud parents of parade entrants, and occasionally, a pure spectator from watching the parades.



Starting after 9 a.m., the voices of local radio personalities from VerStandig Broadcasting rang through the square of Greencastle as they announced the entrants.

The parade featured many marching bands, including Waynesboro Area Senior High School, Greencastle-Antrim Senior High School, Southern Fulton Junior and Senior High School and James Buchanan Senior High School.

With tinseled instruments and holiday tunes, the bands were a crowd favorite.

"I like the Greencastle band," Matthews said.

Against the backdrop of the enormous town Christmas tree, many local children walked or rode in the parade on behalf of Scouts, churches and dance teams.

Zachary Koons, 9, walked with his Cub Scout pack, and proudly carried the banner.

"You get to see people," Zachary said of why he walked.

For most children, the day was a chance to get free candy and see Santa.

Clutching his plastic bag of mints, Tootsie Rolls and Jolly Ranchers, Braxton Matthews had no plans of sharing the day's sugar-filled bounty.

"No way will I share," he said.


Many of the entrants from the Greencastle parade also committed to march in Waynesboro's parade.

The hour of 2 p.m. marked the start of the parade, where Bob Steele of WAYZ lent his voice to the cause and read the names of almost 100 entrants.

Unlike the Greencastle parade, Waynesboro's parade was a competition. Three judges from the Susquehanna All-American Judges Association in Chambersburg, Pa., judged the entrants in Center Square.

Regardless of what the judges decided, most spectators made up their own minds.

"So far, I like the Clear Spring band," Calimer said.

"I think McConnellsburg band will be the best," said Laura McDaid of McConnellsburg.

MaryBeth Hockenberry, executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, was pleased with the size of the crowd and its enthusiasm.

"I am very pleased," Hockenberry said. "I have been walking the parade route, and people keep telling me it was a great parade."

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