Thou­sands of lights adorn pa­rade ve­hi­cles in Ken­nett

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Chris Bar­ber cbar­ber@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

KEN­NETT SQUARE >> If one thing was clear at the Ken­nett Square tree light­ing pa­rade on Fri­day, it was that in this day and age just about any­thing can be lit up with­out an ex­ten­sion cord or an elec­tri­cal socket.

State Street may have been dark, but the gayly lit ve­hi­cles — some of them draped com­pletely in Christ­mas lights — had no trou­ble find­ing their way from Lafayette to Broad Street.

The pro­ces­sion that lum­bered up State Street at 6:15 p.m. was cheered by the thou­sands who lined the curb. Es­pe­cially en­thu­si­as­tic were the folks who had spent time at Lib­erty Place down by Cen­ter Street and stepped out to see the razzmatazz go by.

It was dif­fi­cult to pin­point what theme played out be­side the lights, but it was prob­a­bly Santa Claus. As the groups marched by, how­ever, there was no telling what sub­ject would be high­lighted next.

There were trac­tors, fire trucks, de­liv­ery vans, farm ve­hi­cles, a pet store with pink-light poo­dles and even Boy Scouts and the Ken­nett High School Band on foot.

One mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle fea­tured a Santa Claus bear­ing a bomb, while a tow truck that was to­tally draped in lights had a brightly out­lined hook on the back.

Tay­lor Oil, whose owner Bill Tay­lor rou­tinely runs the Memo­rial Day Pa­rade spec­tac­u­lar, had a large flat bed with nine lighted rein­deer leap­ing and a blue sky above.

The night’s fes­tiv­i­ties started with mu­sic blar­ing from speak­ers in the mid­dle of town and Mayor Matt Fet­ick point­ing out that there was a tiny bit of “liq­uid snow” in the air, but not to worry. Af­ter that, the dancers from Long­wood Per­form­ing Arts did their “Jin­gle Bell Rock” rou­tine twice, one on each end of the State-Union Street in­ter­sec­tion,

Bring­ing up the rear were Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, who in their other lives are Fran and An­drea Duryn­ski. Time and again they say it’s time to re­tire from their yule­tide roles, but they can never seem to re­sist com­ing back “for one more year.”

They were driven by long­time auto-re­storer Lou Mandich, who had ap­plied the roof on his Model T Ford to keep the Claus cou­ple dry. He was well ad­vised, too, be­cause just as they started up the hill, the rains came.

The royal cou­ple con­tin­ued up the street for the light­ing of the town tree in the mid­dle of town, but many peo­ple — es­pe­cially those with small chil­dren — headed for their cars, cut­ting their visit short.

Ken­nett Square’s wel­com­ing cer­e­mony for Santa Claus will be fol­lowed by West Grove’s tree light­ing on Thurs­day, Dec. 1, and Ox­ford’s Coun­try Christ­mas on Fri­day, Dec. 2.

PHO­TOS BY CHRIS BAR­BER — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Mr. and Mrs. Claus greeted the crowds as they ap­proached mid­town.

The Long­wood Fire Com­pany truck made a fes­tive ap­pear­ance as it drove by.

Paws and Claws drove a truck topped with pink poo­dles.

Bill Tay­lor’s rein­deer leaped sky­ward over his truck.

The Boy Scouts marched in step and then per­formed with drums in the mid­dle of town.

The Avon­dale Fire Com­pany decked their truck with lights.

A tow truck car­ried a smaller truck that had a lighted hook.

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