Unfortunately, last Saturday the weather did not cooperate again, resulting in the cancellation of our much anticipated holiday parade.
Unfortunately, last Saturday the weather did not cooperate again resulting in the cancellation of our much anticipated holiday parade. We were ready and excited to go. Our enthusiastic and loyal participants were prepared to march, sing, and dance. Our bands were ready to play and our antique cars were warmed up. Yet, as we (our extremely dedicated “Barricade Brigade” - all long-term community volunteers) finished putting up barricades along our parade route the rain (between 6:15 a.m. - 7:10 a.m.) changed again from a fine mist to a steady rain. We were all soaked. We deliberated again and decided that, although disappointing, it was prudent to cancel our parade. Ultimately, we did not want to turn such a positive, fun, and uplifting community holiday celebration into a potentially stressful and deflating situation for our participants and spectators. In this regard, our many incredible bands have valuable instruments that could be damaged by rain. At the same time, we wanted all of our participants/spectators to always share in our parade fun that leads to incredible memories. In the end, we concluded that the rain would negatively impact this experience.
As disappointed as we all were, I was proud of and inspired by our community yet again. As we made our way along the Avenue taking down our now unnecessary barricades, I had the chance to interact with many parade enthusiasts. Yes, there was disappointment, but this quickly morphed into excitement for next year. At the same time, I received countless phone calls from parade mainstays - Engine 37, Philadelphia Highway Patrol & Mounted Police, 14th District officers, the Phillie Phanatic, Chestnut Hill Hospital, Wyndmoor Hose Company #1, CHBA and countless others. The message was the same from all - we can’t wait to make next year the best parade ever! We are so fortunate to live in a neighborhood comprised of individuals, families, businesses, and institutions that not only value but unite to form the special spirit of community that we all benefit from. On this particular rainy day that resulted in our canceled holiday event, it was clear to me that our community was united again, looking forward with excitement to contribute to next year’s holiday celebration.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to all of our participants. It does not go unnoticed that all of you respond each year with enthusiasm and a willingness to help in any manner. To our volunteers, we thank you for your dedication and commitment to spreading joy in our community. Finally, to our spectators, please know that we value your support and we look forward to celebrating with you in 2022!
It is clearer to me now than ever before that our holiday parade is another important platform for our community to demonstrate and express its special spirit.
Brien P. Tilley
CHCA Holiday Parade Chair