QVC West Chester 39th Annual Christmas Parade officially kicked off the holiday season in downtown West Chester, Friday night.
Tens of thousands came from all over to partake in one of the town’s most exciting events, hosted by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.
It’s not so surprising that the QVC West Chester Christmas celebration was named “one of the top-ten places to experience the arrival of Santa Claus during the holiday season” by USA Today.
With a turnout of about 35,000, the numbers seem to just keep growing.
This year, 6abc’s Adam Joseph returned as Master of Ceremonies as well as QVC hosts Carolyn Gracie and Dan Hughes.
The event included a variety of traditional holiday essentials. Marching bands come from as far as New York. Local schools, businesses, dancers, floats, volunteer firefighters, Santa and antique cars are just a few highlights seen in the parade.
Many businesses also reserved the block of High Street between Gay and Market Streets, for the annual Holiday Village—which offered parade attendees fun and festive complimentary holiday treats prior to the parade.
The event included the 10th Annual ACAC Jingle Elf Run and Walk, which is a 2-mile run or 1-mile walk kicked off before the parade. The Christmas spirit thrived in West Chester as the parade initiated. Families from all around came to the borough to see West Chester’s prized holiday fundraiser.
With a turnout of about 35,000, the numbers seem to just keep growing. Mitchell Brommi, a West Chester native and now father of three has been coming to the QVC parade for the past 15 years. “I’ve been coming to this parade for as long as I can remember. I went to school here and, although it is nothing compared to what it is now, the parade always fills me up with that holiday spirit.” Mitchell’s son Adam was also very excited, as this was his first time attending the parade. “Its really loud, but I’m just here for Santa,” he sai, determined.
With an array of several attractions, the parade showcased floats, bands, dancers, fire engines, sleds, singers, and more and made West Chester electric. With the streets closed, the entire town swarmed the streets in efforts to find a good spot to watch the yearly extravaganza. Some took to their dad’s shoulders, some took to car tops, while others took to street signs just to get a good view of the parade.
Along with the parade, shops along Gay and Market streets also got involved. A Christmas style-window decorating contest gave families a chance to walk around town and admire shop windows. Several stores including Lorenzo’s, Starbucks and Iron Hill are just some of the many who participated. There were also several fundraisers and food drives for the homeless and needy through the Salvation Army of West Chester, and also a toy drive for less fortunate children presented by We Stand For Service Bank. Most proceeds of the parade go toward charity and the benefit of the greater West Chester community.
Emily Drossman is a fourth-year student English Writings major who minors in journalism. ED843805@wcupa.edu
Chris Sheehan is a fourth-year student majoring in professional studies with minors in journalism and graphic design. CS873219@wcupa.edu