Holiday parade sparks interest to community

Nathalie Abello, Staff Writer

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The holiday season is the season of people coming together to relax and enjoy with family and friends. Many towns and cities all around the country have brought this idea to life through parades. These towns encourage everyone to join them in a short march to celebrate the holiday season; Bernardsville Township is one of them.

On December 14th, Bernardsville’s first annual holiday parade took place, highlighting and drawing to a close the holiday celebrations. Prior to the parade itself, the second annual cookie crawl occurred. Participants of the crawl picked up their maps and boxes at 10:30 at the train station, then, by 11 am the actual cookie crawl started. Businesses all around town distributed cookies and prizes for those who had tickets.

Later that same day, the parade began at 5:00 pm. The parade was a 0.7-mile walk from Seney Drive to Bernards High School— the perfect distance. People who participated in the parade could walk, bike, or even drive their car as afloat.

Many chose to turn their car into a parade float with Christmas lights, red bows, reindeer figurines, and lots more. Firetrucks escorted Santa and his firemen elves who were waving to the children along the path. An ambulance followed behind with its emergency lights flashing as well. There was even a horse-drawn carriage at the parade. The float that blew everyone away was the girl scout troop #63423. Pictured to the right, ten girls rode on their float decorated with white lights, tons of balloons, and one huge,

children along the path. An ambulance followed behind with its emergency lights flashing as well. There was even a horse-drawn carriage at the parade. The float that blew everyone away was the girl scout troop #63423. Pictured to the right, ten girls rode on their float decorated with white lights, tons of balloons, and one huge, colorful poster.

Once they got to the high school, there was community caroling and dessert trucks. Many saw it as a lovely sight to see the community together for the holidays.

Olivia Manning, Downtown Bernardsville’s executive director, planned the parade and cookie crawl. When asked how the idea came about, she explained that “it wasn’t until [her] husband, Tim Manning, ran into our police Chief, Kevin Valentine”. She mentioned that they talked about how great “an old fashioned parade” would be. For next year’s parade, she hopes for a bigger turnout: “more cars, floats, and walkers”

and perhaps a “grander ending” such as “live music or some kind of mini market or fair.”

Many loved the idea so, Bernardsville is planning on continuing this newfound tradition for years to come.