Bring Back the Westminster Christmas Parade
The Westminster Christmas Parade
March 16th, 2005 by Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff (528 words)
As I am certain you are aware, it is only 284 days until Christmas. But even more importantly, there are only 262 days until the Westminster Christmas Parade on December 3rd, 2005. Please mark this date on your calendar now, so you do not miss all the fun with your friends and neighbors.
In keeping with the theme; “Westminster An Excellent Experience”, The Greater Westminster Development Corporation (GWDC), along with the City of Westminster and the Main Street Program are reviving an old Westminster Christmas tradition; the Christmas Parade.
Community leaders such as former Councilmember Sam Greenholtz, now Chair of the GWDC Board of Directors; Kathy O’Dell, Chair of the GWDC Downtown Main Street Promotions Committee; Lori Graham, President of the GWDC; Missie Wilcox; Sandy Scott; Lynn Aaron and Ron Schroers have rolled up their sleeves to plan this excellent experience.
Over fifty years ago, Christmas tradition in Westminster included a parade and shopping downtown with the family. In those days, the downtown-shopping district included East Green Street, West and East Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Some of the many shops and businesses on Pennsylvania Avenue included, Earhart Motors, O’Farrell Brothers Pontiac, The Avenue Barber Shop, Westminster TV and Radio Shop, Carroll Electric Service, Dutty’s Beauty Salon, Everhart’s Barber Shop, Wine’s Sports Shop, and Wilson’s Garage to name just a few. Moreover, who can forget the huge toy department in Hollander’s Auto Store, Bobby’s Hobby Lobby, Rosenstock’s Ladies’ Shop, Gehr’s Hardware Store, The Treat Shop, and the Bixler and Guild Drug Store on Main Street.
The early parades marched west along Main Street to the “Forks” at Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue where Santa Claus had his “temporary residence”. The jolly old fellow recently moved to Locust Lane, along with the Westminster Community Christmas Tree. The Democratic Advocate on December 26, 1947 describes the parade with the “city’s two bands”, the American Legion, and the 29th Division Association. Christmas carols, led by Kale Mathias, were sung by the community.
This year’s parade will be reminiscent of those former parades. Participants will include bands, antique cars, fire trucks and floats. Businesses are encouraged to provide a float depicting their business and the holiday spirit. The merchants from the TownMall, Westminster Crossing and other areas are invited to participate and call attention to the many fine products that they too offer. Store windows will be decorated and musical groups will be strolling the streets to entertain both young and old.
While much of the program revolves around the downtown merchants, you should know that the GWDC represents all of the greater Westminster environs and this event is one of many excellent experiences promoting shopping in all of the Westminster area.
The GWDC was created in 1994 as a private public partnership of business and city leaders to work together cooperatively to maintain and further a positive business environment in Westminster. Planning for the parade has already begun in earnest and sponsors, at various levels are welcome to help finance the project. More information can be obtained from Sam Greenholtz or calling the Westminster Main Street Program Manger, Stan Ruchlewicz at (410) 848-5294. And keep your hot chocolate at the ready.