Black Friday may have came and went, but the holiday season in the Town of Bethlehem is going to officially kick off Friday, Dec. 4, with the town's third annual Holiday Parade.
The parade will step off at 6 p.m. from Town Hall and travel down Delaware Avenue to the Four Corners, where the holiday tree lighting will occur once the parade ends. Santa Claus will be arriving via fire truck at the end of the parade.
Kris Kringle enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Mrs. Claus will be marching in this year's parade, played by Ingrid Capron, owner of Chancery Lane on Delaware Avenue.
As of press time, the final number of groups marching was not finalized, but they will include fire departments, school groups, boy and girl scouts and a fife and drum corps providing Christmas music.
It grows every year, and more people are hearing about it and wanting to participate, said Kim Ryan, confidential secretary to the town supervisor. "It kicks off the holiday season in Bethlehem, not only for the residents but also for the businesses."
This will the be third holiday parade organized through the supervisor's office, and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce is helping Four Corners shops and other nearby businesses get into the mix. As a result, the fun will not end once the tree is lit.
"Traditionally it's really been a town event, so really our part is coordinating what the businesses are doing," said Gina Bulman, who works with membership development for the Chamber.
Bulman confirmed that Wild Sage Designs, a newly opened shop selling handmade bags and gifts located behind Perfect Blend, will stay open until 8 p.m. and provide cookies and refreshments. At the Delmar Reformed Church, free hot chocolate, cookies and craft activities for kids will be on hand, as will local jazz ensemble Jazz Connection, slated to start performing at 7 p.m.
Mrs. Claus will hold off on the trip back to the North Pole to go to Chancery Lane, where she'll serve hot chocolate and candy canes. Also, Peaceful Inspirations will be offering a 15 percent discount from 6:30 p.m. until closing time at 8 p.m.
Bulman said that other nearby businesses and groups may also have plans.