Parade draws record numbers
The Shepherdstown Christmas parade had more entries than it has ever seen, according to Rotarian Peter Smith who helps organize the annual event.
“We had a total of 72 entries,” Smith said.
The event is sponsored by the Shepherdstown Visitor’s Center and organized by the local Rotary Club. Challenges seen this past weekend came from the huge numbers of people in the parade as well as watching it from the sidelines. Parking was at a premium, adding in the fact that Shepherd’s championship game began at noon, just at the end of the parade. However, planning by organizers had shuttle service from various remote parking areas bringing parade and holiday visitors into town without incident.
Local radio announcer Hans Fogle provided the voice for this year’s parade as he shared information about each entry that made its way down German Street. Leading off the parade was the Jefferson High School JROTC under the command of Cadet Col. Drew Polczynski and instructors of the corp Maj. Phil Suydam, Sgt. Jason Morris and Sgt. Tony Frazier.
Following close behind were members of Trinity Episcopal Church’s Living Nativity. After marching down the parade route, the group returned to the churchyard where many visitors gathered to observe.
Bands, including the Shepherd Ram Band, Jefferson High’s Marching Cougars and the Shepherdstown Middle School Cardinals were spaced throughout the parade route.
Also joining in as the upcoming election year approaches were multiple candidates seeking public exposure for their potential offices.
Shepherdstown groups including the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the Visitor’s Center, Rotary, Public Library and more also turned out to participate.
Civil War soldiers from reenactment groups including the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of Civil War marched representing both the Confederates and the Union soldiers.
Multiple antique automobiles were seen traversing German Street, some carrying special guests and some there for the sake of showing their detail and design. Pageant queens were in abundance including Miss Jefferson County Tess Hyre, Miss Jefferson County Outstanding Teen Megan Scarano and Little Miss Jefferson County Gracey Cain.
Add in Scouts, 4-Hers, the Morris Dancers and Shepherdstown’s beloved Dogs, and there was something for everyone. A special treat this year was the addition of the Middletown Valley Beagles and the New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds.
Rounding out the parade was Shepherdsown’s own fire department and then the long-awaited Santa Claus. Who arrived in a carriage supplied by Bonnymeed Farm.