NEWTOWN >> The McCaffrey’s Food Markets Newtown Holiday Parade marched through town on Sunday with a sparkle in its eye and magic in its step.

From the instrumentalists playing holiday tunes to the jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho’s” coming from Santa Claus, the spirit of the season was infectious.

Hundreds lined the parade route along State and Sycamore streets as a chill in the air made for perfect marching weather and also watching weather provided you had a hot beverage to hold.

From the start of the parade, organized by the Newtown Business Association and generously sponsored by McCaffrey’s Food Markets, to the grand entrance of Santa Claus the march was non-stop holiday magic.

Escorting the parade through town were Newtown Township Police Chief John Hearn and Newtown Borough Police Chief James Sabath.

The Greater Kensington String Band, sponsored by the Club House Bar and Grill, kicked things off with a spirited strut down State Street. They were followed by Transcend Fitness, Action Karate, American Legion Post 440 Color Guard, Newtown Borough Mayor Charles Swartz, Leck Waste Services and the Spirit In Motion Ballet Company.

Parade highlights included the 1st Crossing Volunteers, who fired musket salutes along the route; Courtney’s Carolers, who brightened the route with holiday carols; the Council Rock North and the Council Rock South Marching Bands presented by Pickering Manor; the Quaker City, Uptown, Polish American and Aqua string bands sponsored by Clubhouse Bar and Grill; the Joseph Ferko String Band sponsored by Holland Floor Covering; and the Newtown Fire Association, which escorted Santa through town.

Other highlights included the Council Rock Coalition for Healthy Youth, BC Discoveries Dance & Theater Arts Co., the Middletown Grange Fair, Girl Scout Service Unit 620, the Dance Academy, Grace Point Church, among others.

Co-chairing this year’s parade for the Newtown Business Association were Marc Blatstein, Kevin Brooks and Tina Leck.

The Winners

Marching away with this year’s top prizes are: Most Unique Float: Transcend Fitness Club (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation); Most Festive Float: CLC Contractors; Best Overall Float: Gilbert, Wilson, & Hunter; Most Creative Non-Float Vehicle: The First National Bank & Trust of Newtown; Best Holiday Spirit: The Girl Scouts; Best Walking Group (Small): Courtney’s Carolers; Best Walking Group (Mid-Size): Debra Sparks Dance Works; Best Walking Group (Large): BC Discoveries Dance & Theater Arts Company; Best Mummers (costume): Aqua String Band; Best Mummers (Best Performance): The Quaker City String Band; and Best In Show: Council Rock South Marching Band.

Other Holiday Events

- The Santa House in the parking lot of the Newtown Fire Association at 14 Liberty Street will be open Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 14, 15, 21 and 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. There will be a mailbox at the Santa House for children to drop off their letters to Santa.

- Midnight Madness takes place on Friday, Dec. 13 from 7 p.m. to midnight on State Street with specials, carolers and surprises at participating merchants.

- Newtown Theatre will screen a series of free Christmas movies through Dec. 22. The movie series is supported by local sponsors. The theatre is located at 120 N. State Street in Newtown. Visit their website for details at www.TheNewtownTheatre.com. Here is the lineup of free movies: A Christmas Story, Thursday, Dec 12 at 7:30 p.m.; Elf on Saturday, Dec 14 at 1:30 p.m.; White Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.; The Bells of St. May’s on Tuesday, Dec 17 at 7:30 p.m.; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m.; It’s A Wonderful Life on Saturday, Dec 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m.; and Home Alone on Sunday, Dec 22 at 10 a.m.

- Many Newtown shops are extending hours during the holiday season. Through Dec. 27, participating stores will be open every Thursday until 7 p.m.

- The Newtown Borough Council has lifted its three hour parking limitation on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the holiday season.

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