On Nov. 21, Chambersburg held its 45th Annual Christmas Parade. It started at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Chambersburg, hosted by the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg. Bands from nearby schools, local clubs and communities participated in the Christmas parade in Chambersburg.
In the U.S., parades are considered community events. For example, Chambersburg held a parade for Veteran’s Day to celebrate military veterans who also marched in the parade. The community enjoyed the parade and showed their respect with applause.
Contrasted with holiday parades in other countries, holiday parades in the U.S. are different. The Christmas parade was made up with community groups and volunteers, and most spectators enjoyed watching or participating. Participants were also presented with awards.
In Korea, parades are usually sponsored by companies. If people want to see a parade in Korea, they go to the amusement park. Parades signify special days, locations, and events. I had never seen parades which involve the communities. I felt the cultural differences in the Christmas parade. In the U.S., parades involve participation, but in Korea parades mostly involve watching.
Local high school marching bands and community clubs participated in the parade, according to the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg Facebook page. Thanks to volunteers, people enjoyed the Christmas parade for over an hour.
People watched a large reindeer balloon float by, listened to people singing Christmas carols, and smiled at the entertaining marchers. They made the crowd feel included by acknowledging spectators throughout. With music and dancing, it was a big community event. People gathered together and shared food and conversation.
Wilson College planned to participate in the parade, but was unable.
“Although we are ultimately unable to participate as a marching unit, the College was a sponsor of the parade and some staff members volunteered as parade staff during the event,” said Courtney Wolfe, Administrative Assistant for Wilson College.
Even though the college did not march this year, there are plans to participate next holiday season.
“The parade landed on our radar fairly late in the season and the timing did not allow for enough planning,” said Wolfe. “We will start planning for the parade earlier next year.”
“It was my first time to see the parade in downtown Chambersburg. I did not know it existed. It was interesting,” said Anna Lynch ’15. “I’m from Hershey and Hershey also has parades. They usually throw candies for children. I think each town has a parade but they seem similar to each other.”
Emily Stanton ’15 commented, “I really enjoyed the different plots they have. It was really cool to see all the little groups. I know Wilson tried to participate but we got there too late so we did not get the chance to do that, but I liked the parade.”
Wilson College hopes to be a big part of the Chambersburg Christmas parade in the future. Be sure to look for the Wilson community between Grinches and reindeer in next year’s Christmas Parade.