Friendship Fire Company features holiday parade
HARPERS FERRY — Unlike the weekend previous, this past Saturday, though cold, offered no falling raindrops to deter parade participants in Harpers Ferry.
The annual parade, hosted by the Friendship Fire Company, saw dozens of entries make their way from the Jefferson County Visitor’s Center at the intersection of Route 340 and Washington Street, to the intersection of Union and Washington streets.
Timing of the parade changed this year, beginning at 11:30 a.m. rather than the parade’s traditional 2 p.m. start time.
For the first time, the fire company also hosted a breakfast with Santa prior to the parade, rather than offering cookies and punch following the event, as has been done in previous years. Scores of children and their families came out to enjoy breakfast and get a quick word in with Santa, before he ventured out into the crisp air to ride in the parade.
Among the entries in the parade were the Jefferson High School Cougar marching band, who led off the event just behind Pete Dougherty, sheriff of Jefferson County, and the Jefferson High Junior ROTC.
Other parade entries included antique vehicles, pageant winners, floats and more. Closing out the parade was the Harpers Ferry Middle School marching band, donning their red Santa hats and being led by 30-year band director Charles Wall. The band was the predecessor to the float transporting Santa back to the fire station.
All along Washington Street, families were gathered, wrapped in winter coats and blankets to ward off the chill in the air, as they watched and cheered for the parade participants. Children were thrilled to catch candy that was tossed from floats or handed out directly by walkers along the parade route.
“We bundled up and braved the cold for the parade,” said Laura Vocature, who watched with her two young children and other family members. “There’s nothing like a small town Christmas parade.”
Vocature said her son and daughter had enjoyed breakfast with Santa earlier at the fire station.
“No tears from these two,” she said. “The kids had a ball.”