Christmas parade comin' to town

Camel rides, expanded live Nativity highlight New Berlin activities

Nov. 25, 2012

New Berlin - The holiday season enters New Berlin with a rush of reindeer, bells and bands as the annual Christmas parade steps off at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The 484th U.S. Army Band again provides a snappy salute to the holidays in the proud procession. The crowd-pleasing Dancing Grannies that rarely appear in the same parade two years in a row also will be back.

"They like our parade," said John Ziino, parade chairman for the sponsoring Prospect Lions Club.

And the parade crowds like them, he said, based on the happy comments he received after last year's Christmas parade appearance.

The Jolly Giants also will be back, walking at dizzying heights on stilts above the heads of the crowd. The fearless performer who does acrobatics atop a huge rolling wheel also will be back, Ziino said.

Santa Claus with live reindeer will be in the parade, of course, to delight the children. But this year there will be no Mrs. Claus. Kay Jashinsky who joined Santa in the parade for many years as Mrs. Claus died in September.

"Out of respect for her, there will be no replacement this year," Ziino said.

The parade heads west on National Avenue to Casper Drive, the turn for Malone Park. Then the post-parade festivities begin.

The tree lighting will be held after the parade at roughly 4 p.m. Candy-filled stockings will be given out to little ones at the lighting ceremony sponsored by the New Berlin Lions Club.

New this year will be camel rides. The camels will be in the parade again, but this will be the first time rides will be offered afterward, Ziino said.

Also, Santa and his reindeer will pose for pictures with little ones in the firehouse, the hub of the post-parade activities. Letters to Santa also can be "mailed" at the firehouse.

A live Nativity will be created with a bigger cast than last year. Costumed village people will be added to the cast gathered around the manger scene along with sheep and goats, camels and donkey and the holy family and other human characters.

The Prospect Lions will be on hand offering keepsake New Berlin collectible Christmas ornaments for a donation that will help pay for the parade.

A couple of collections will be held during the celebration. One will be for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots. The other will be a food drive for the New Berlin food pantry.

Boy Scout Troop 93 will sell food and hot chocolate.

- Jane Ford-Stewart


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