Thousands of lights adorn parade vehicles in Kennett
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.
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.