Coatesville Christmas parade returns Dec. 4 and is bigger than ever

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Once again this year, Chester County’s largest hometown parade, down the historic Lincoln Highway, takes place on Dec. 4. The Coatesville Christmas Parade, a holiday classic, begins at 10:00 a.m. starting at Strode Avenue and Lincoln Highway, and ends at the performing and judging area at 11th Avenue and Lincoln Highway. Originally a community project in the 1950s, the parade was then taken up by the Jaycees back in the 70s. In the early 1990’s, missing the spectacle and sense of community spirit the parade inspired, this group of former JAYCEES along with other members of the Coatesville community and with the support of the Stewart Huston Charitable Trust and the City of Coatesville, decided it was time to revise the parade tradition.

This year, over 150 plus entries will grace the Lincoln Highway from dancers swirling their batons, to fleets of tow trucks, police cars and fire trucks, to local contractors showing off their custom-crafted floats. The Coatesville Christmas Parade has it all.

Parade-committee member, Greg DePedro, (and co-owner with his wife, Dorrie, of the Coatesville Flower Shop) reminisces about his long tenure with the parade, “The Coatesville Christmas parade committee is so happy to work with Santa for 2021! We talked to the North Pole and Santa will be here Saturday, December 4th at 10 a.m. Last year was a very quiet year for the committee, but WE ARE BACK and ready to GO !!!!!!!
See you December 4th!”

Lori Jones, Parade treasurer, adds, “This Parade is unique in that it is supported solely by the generosity of our sponsors, local businesspeople, and the community itself.”

This year’s Presenting Sponsor is Penn Medicine. “Chester County Hospital and Lancaster General Health Parkesburg are proud to be members of Penn Medicine. With physicians, programs, services, and locations throughout the western Chester County, we offer an array of inpatient, outpatient medical and surgical services so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Learn more at PennMedicine.org/Locations,” according to Scott C. Taylor of Lancaster General’s marketing department.

The Gold Star sponsor this year is Cleveland-Cliffs. “We are pleased and excited to be supporting this annual holiday event that brings together our community for a cherished hometown tradition. With over 600 employees at our steel plate production facility, family and community are very important to us at Cleveland-Cliffs, and we take pride in our work with our neighbors to support a healthy and vibrant community,” said Troy Graver, General Manager, Coatesville operation.

The parade is proud to honor as Grand Marshall’s this year, Brandywine Valley Active Aging. William Pierce, Executive Director of BVAA explains the organization’s impact this way, “For more than 40 years, the Coatesville Area Senior Center and Downingtown Area Senior Center served their communities as independent nonprofit organizations.  In January 2021, the two organizations, with an eye towards the future of senior centers, merged to become Brandywine Valley Active Aging.  With three campuses, one in the City of Coatesville, one in the Borough of Downingtown, and our recently launched Virtual Campus, Brandywine Valley Active Aging will provide programs and services to more than 3,000 individuals annually.

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Brandywine Valley Active Aging has been able to continue to offer essential programs and services including providing more than 85,000 prepared meals, distributing more than 250,000 pounds of fresh produce, dairy, and other groceries, working with the Chester County Health Department to administer more than 2,000 vaccinations and now booster shots, and reducing the risk of social isolation by launching the Virtual Campus and technology lending program.

In early September 2021, the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed over Chester County leaving devastating flooding and destruction in her wake.  Brandywine Valley Active Aging, working closely with The Alliance for Health Equity (formerly Brandywine Health Foundation) took a leadership role becoming the single point of contact for those impacted by Hurricane Ida.  Helping more than 175 households from the City of Coatesville, the Borough of Modena, and Valley Township, Brandywine Valley Active Aging served as an emergency evacuation shelter, coordinated supply donation drives and distributions, and continues to provide case management support to more than 60 households permanently displaced by the flood.”

Featured this year will be Miss Pennsylvania, along with Duffy and Quaker City String bands. Also playing will be the Eagles Pep Band, Sixers Stixers, the Lukens Band, the Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band, and the Coatesville High School “Red Raider” Marching Band. There will be mascots galore, along with a whole slew of cartoon characters who will entertain the crowd.

The parade has become a cherished memory for the families of the Coatesville area. This event now reaches into the hearts and memories of Coatesvillians everywhere, as it now streams live (and able to be viewed after the run date) on CoatesvilleChristmasParade.com. This annual gathering is a free event because of the generosity of sponsors like Penn Medicine, Penn Medicine’s Chester County Hospital, Penn Medicine’s Lancaster General Health, Cleveland-Cliffs, PECO, CTDI, Presence Bank, The Stewart Huston Charitable Trust, The Alliance for Health Equity, Breuninger Insurance, Wegman’s, Brian Hoskin’s Ford, Edge Wallboard Machinery, G.A. Vietri, Inc., ServPro of Kennett Square, James J. Terry Funeral Home, Inc., The City of Coatesville, The Williams Group, and many others.

Also, this year, look for local elementary, middle, and high school groups, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies.  There will also be dance academies, cheerleading groups, hip-hop dancers, and baton twirlers. Not to be missed is the always-a-show-pleaser, larger-than-life cartoon characters. An automotive competition featuring Antique, Classic and Modified autos will be competing for prizes. Another competition is for Best Appearing Fire Apparatus, with the expectation that all the local fire companies in Western Chester County will be represented. Chester County police departments will compete for Best Appearing Police Vehicle.

The competition for Best Appearing Float sponsored by a non-profit organization features prizes of $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. There is also a Best Appearing Float sponsored by a for-profit organization. They compete for bragging rights and a plaque. Lastly, there will be a competition for Best Appearing Group. Note that all competitions are for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

Bringing up the rear of the parade will be none other than the big man himself, Santa Claus, riding on a Coatesville Fire Department truck. Admission is free.

For information on this event, kindly contact Greg DePedro at

610.384.2677 or www.coatesvillechristmasparade.com

Or email us at committee@coatesvillechristmasparade.com

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