In a world where everything is constantly getting bigger, faster and flashier, there is comfort in tradition. And after more than a half-century, the Moorestown Lions Club’s Holiday Parade is just that.
All manner of marching bands and string bands, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, fire trucks, elected officials, a Citizen of the Year and a llama will march through downtown Saturday—just like they have every year for the past 51.
“One of the things that’s great about this parade, and not to sound trite, is its sameness,” said parade organizer Pete Thorndike. “It’s not dull. Probably half the people watching the parade were in it.”
Hundreds of people will march in the parade, and thousands more will watch it, when it kicks off at noon Saturday at Chester and East Central avenues. The following is just a sample of what attendees can expect to see in the 52nd annual parade:
- Moorestown High School marching band
- Liberty Band
- Three string bands: Greater Overbrook String Band, Woodland String Band and Original Trilby String Band
- Six floats of Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts
- Moorestown’s Citizen of the Year Douglas Sell
- Crescent Motorcycle Team
- Moorestown Fire Department and EMS
- Township councilmembers, including
- Stony the Llama
Thorndike said Main Street will close around 11 a.m. and Chester Avenue will close around 10. The noon parade usually lasts about an hour and 10 minutes.
The theme of this year's parade is "Dr. Seuss.” Cash prizes will be awarded to the participants in the parade best exemplifying that theme.
The parade will be held rain or shine (or snow). The current weather forecast for Saturday calls for a high of 47 with partly cloudy skies.
“Any kind of decent weather, we’ll get between 3,500 to 5,000 people,” said Thorndike. “All I do is cross my fingers and pray.”
Immediately following the parade, the Relief Engine Company on Chester Avenue will host its annual Lunch with Santa. Admission is free and includes a photo with St. Nick (bring your own camera) on a 1922 Aherns Fox fire truck, a hot dog, popcorn, a drink and a meet-and-greet with Sparky the fire dog.
Also following the parade, stop by the third floor of the Church Street Recreation Center for the MoorArts Holiday Arts Festival, featuring selected pieces of artwork done by Moorestown students.
At 7 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel will host its annual Holiday Hop with Jerry Blavat. Tickets are $55 per person.