Man In Red Ushers In Holiday Season Downtown
The annual Scranton Santa Parade ushered in the holiday season Saturday while showcasing the talent of many local students and athletes from across the region.
Members of the Tunkhannock Little League Softball All-Stars — runners-up in the Little League Softball World Series — served as the parade’s grand marshals.
Players and Tunkhannock Area students Emily Patton, 12, Julianna Roote, 13, and Elaina Kulsicavage, 13, stood on Spruce Street before parade kickoff, excited to be grand marshals.
The attention the team received was overwhelming at first, Elaina said. “But then you get used to it and it’s really, really cool.”
They rode through the parade behind dancers from the Ballet Theatre of Scranton. Dressed as wooden soldiers from “The Nutcracker” and standing at attention, they put on a performance to set the stage for their peers. Marching bands from West and Scranton High School and Riverside High School, local cheerleaders, twirlers and dancers, among others, moved through the streets Saturday, giving glimpses of half-time shows and performances months in the making.
The parade began in the late 1980s but officially became a yearly event in 1993. Santa and Mrs. Clause were last to ride the parade route. In a white horse-drawn carriage, the Clauses waved to children anxiously awaiting their arrival who stood alongside the downtown Scranton streets.
Santa later took a seat on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square to answer the question on most children’s mind: “Have they been naughty or nice?”
This is the first year in recent memory that snow was on the ground for the Big Man in the Red Suit’s arrival, said Tom Fritz, parade board of directors. That same snow did not deter a large crowd from attending the annual event.
The parade committee also amped up its musical offerings around Courthouse Square.
Scarlet Kabak, 8, a member of North Pocono’s Moscow Melodies group, was excited to sing “Jingle Bells” for Santa and the crowd. Her fellow singer, Genevieve Powell, 9, was ready to belt out “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
While Scarlet was excited to see Mr. Clause, she also enjoyed the chance Saturday “to sing with our friends.”
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