Todd Marcocci's Magnificent Creations
When he was five years old, Todd Marcocci’s grandfather gifted him with a toy tractor. It had pedals and could be ridden around like a bicycle. Upon receiving this present, Marcocci asked his mother for a roll of crepe paper and scotch tape so that he could decorate it.
Today Marcocci, owner of Under the Sun Productions in West Chester, can be found decorating, planning and producing with the same innate drive and passion that he exhibited so early on as a child. This year, he and his company led the Mummers group Golden Crown to win first place in the Philadelphia Mummer’s Day Fancy Brigade Competition, an artistic feat among many directed under Marcocci’s scrupulous eye every year. Coming December 2nd, West
Chester will have the opportunity to experience his brilliance as director of the QVC West Chester Christmas Parade once again this year.
Marcocci never stops. Even while mowing his lawn or driving in his car, he is constantly generating and turning over ideas for his various endeavors. “I blame my mother for my creativity. She’s a perfectionist,” Marcocci says, describing his inclination towards meticulous decoration and display that has led to a career centered upon magnificence and attention to detail. “I’m actually making bows as we speak right now.”
As a youth, following his toy tractor float creation, Marcocci went on to complete numerous childhood productions with increasing flourish. During family events, where cousins and siblings abounded, Marcocci cast and directed numerous parades. “I would teach them how to march,” he recalls. “We would build floats.” He would also put on his own firework shows and fountain displays, uplighting the water from a garden house that he would rig to spray vertically. Thankfully for spectators across the country, Marcocci circled back to his childhood antics. “Here I am doing the exact same thing on a grander scale,” he says with a laugh.
A grander scale is putting it mildly. Marcocci’s resume now includes an extensive list of big league events including the Cherry Blossom Parade and National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC, the Nashville Christmas Parade, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade in Chicago, Miss America in Atlantic City, Philadelphia’s own 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade. He’s also responsible for the soundtracks of every Philadelphia fireworks show for Independence Day and New Year’s Eve, which is to say that he selects the themes, the songs and the pyrotechnics at the core of every single one.
The QVC West Chester Christmas Parade, which he directs with Under the Sun co-owner Amy Walp, now reaches such levels of grandeur as to garner national attention and attract 40,000 annual spectators, and growing.
Putting on a production of such large scale requires perennial planning and organization of massive moving parts. This year, as QVC became the title sponsor, Marcocci sees his longtime vision taking form. His involvement with the parade started out minimally in 2005, the first year he designed and decorated the tree at the former courthouse on High Street, arguably the most visible symbol of Christmas in all of West Chester. Watching the Christmas Parade go by, he saw in it exceptional potential. He approached the Chamber of Commerce with a proposal and offer to volunteer his services and help it grow, which he certainly has. “My vision was always to have QVC involved because I thought we could create something that could be worthy of sharing with the nation,” he recalls.
Marcocci has enjoyed working tirelessly alongside the Chamber of Commerce as they’ve together developed this annual parade into something renowned and widely-loved. “What we live by is bringing the big city parade to the small town,” he says. And it has become a true sensation, drawing viewers and participants from as far as Virginia and New York. For a Friday night small town parade to amass such attendance is a testament to the tremendous efforts behind it.
It is Marcocci’s persistent and systematic movements coupled with his inherent spontaneity that seem to generate the recipe for his rocketing success as a parade director, entertainer and business owner. The force that compels him to entertain is the same force that greets parade-goers on the street, striking in its magnitude.
As the holiday excitement gave way to wintry reality last January, Marcocci was up to something. “You know those Christmas wreaths that are hung in the town?” he asks, referring to a multitude of pine wreaths and garlands, hung by volunteers, that adorn just about every inch of downtown West Chester during December. “I was tired of looking at all the burned out bulbs,” he says.
The only viable solution was for him to take every one of the 110 wreaths home for a thorough rehabbing that he would carry out in his living room with lysol and scrub brushes for the next five months. “I never thought about all the soot that would come from the tractor trailors driving by,” he says, explaining why he was forced to wear a mask while stripping, scrubbing and restringing these grimy wreaths, and then having to scour sediment off his tables, walls, floors, furniture and decor. The wreaths, originally strung with 25 bulbs a piece, have now been adorned with 250 bulbs, a 900% increase for anyone counting. Hand-made bows and decorations finish the look. “This year, West Chester should be shining brilliantly,” Marcocci predicts.
Of that he’s undoubtedly correct.
The QVC West Chester Christmas Parade, which Marcocci directs with Under the Sun coowner Amy Walp, now reaches such levels of grandeur as to garner national attention and attract 40,000 annual spectators, and growing.
Marcocci’s resume now includes an extensive list of big league events including the Cherry Blossom Parade and National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC, the Nashville Christmas Parade, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade in Chicago, Miss America in Atlantic City, Philadelphia’s own 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade.