YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Main Street came alive with the sights and sounds of Christmas on Saturday.
No matter where you looked, the holiday spirit was everywhere as crowds of onlookers stood four and five people deep in spots to watch this year’s Olde-Fashioned Christmas Parade sponsored by McCaffrey’s Food Market and organized by the Yardley Business Association.
Applause filled the air as the American Legion Post 317 Color Guard led the march north on Main Street accompanied by VFW Commander Russ Davidson and American Legion Commander Ted Smith.
They were followed by Yardley Borough Police Chief Joseph Kelly, the antique McCaffrey’s Food Markets Truck carrying Jim McCaffrey Senior and his son, Jim, and a Mustang honoring the memory of Deb Kobol who brought the parade to Yardley in the 1990s and created a new borough tradition.
Special guest Pat Gallen from CBS 3 was up next, riding through Yardley Borough in a BMW convertible while waving to the crowd.
He was followed by the Uptown Sting Band, the Yardleyville Protective Company, Jovodance Productions and the Alpha Bravo Canines.
The Friends of Lake Afton walked and rode by with a giant inflatable yellow duck in tow along with two very real ducks - Duchess and Earl - who enjoyed the ride with FOLA’s President Michelle Sharer.
BC Discoveries filled the street with holiday spirit as they danced down Main in a sea of red, white and green.
State Senator Steve Santarsiero rode by waving to the crowd. Also joining the march were State Rep. Perry Warren, members of the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors and the Yardley Borough Council along with Pennsbury School Board President TR Kannan.
They were followed by Bucks County Prothonotary and Congressional candidate Judi Reiss of Lower Makefield.
Girl Scouts marched by adding plenty of spirit to the parade, while Grace Point Church promoted its upcoming event - One Winter Night - a free community event for the entire family on Friday, Dec. 13 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. featuring a living nativity, horse-drawn wagon rides, s’mores around a bonfire, a petting zoo, cookies, hot cocoa, musical performances, more cookies, crafts for the kiddos and a special coffeehouse with musical guests.
String bands and musical groups, including the Uptown String Band and the Bracken Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, provided the marching music.
And so did the award-winning Pennsbury High School Marching Band, fresh from its appearance in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, which got everyone in the mood with holiday music and twirling flags.
Also joining this year’s parade were members of the Dance Arts of Yardley, the Hair Doctor with its Volkswagen Beetle, Big Whiskey performing “Gimmie Three Steps” and the pride of Yardley-Makefield - the all-volunteer Yardley-Makefield Fire Company.
With sirens wailing and lights flashing, the parade hit a crescendo with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard an antique Ward LaFrance fire truck.
It was one of those Norman Rockwell moments as children jumped up and down with joy, cameras flashed, videos rolled and Santa let out a jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
Afterwards, Santa spent the better part of the next two hours listening to holiday wishes inside his very own workshop built by YBA volunteers at the Buttonwood Park pavilion.
If you missed Santa’s big arrival in town on Saturday, there is still time to visit with him and to share your lists.
Santa will be back at his Buttonwood Park workshop for Yardley’s 2nd Saturday, December 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. and again on Saturday, December 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus and reindeer crafts and activities.
Also on 2nd Saturday, everyone’s invited to step inside the Old Library by Lake Afton for a holiday open house.
From 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, the public is invited to see a model train layout, with tooting engines and clattering cabooses. With familiar buildings and landmarks, the railroad scene evokes Yardley’s past.
Standing tall will be a fir tree festooned with real popcorn and cranberry chains, candles, tussy mussys, toys, fans, and ornate paper images. “Yardley” gifts – embroidered tea towels, books, notepaper, ornaments and prints – will be available to purchase, and mulled cider and cookies will be offered to all.
At 6 p.m., carolers from St. Andrew’s Church will herald the lighting of the little spruce tree growing by Lake Afton. If you wish, please bring along an ornament to decorate the tree and celebrate its second season.
After the lighting, come inside the Old Library to enjoy holiday savories and sweets with friends and neighbors, new and old. Bring along a treat or beverage to share, if you choose.
The event is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Proceeds will benefit the Historical Association’s efforts to maintain the Victorian library building and its collections of books, documents, and ephemera related to Yardley’s history.