’Tis the season for parades, celebrations

The tall evergreen tree in Wandel Park in Gloversville was lighted Saturday by Santa Claus. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

GLOVERSVILLE — The city packed a lot of Christmas into one day Saturday.

It all began with the Christmas tree lighting in Wandel Park at 5 p.m. that was filled with spectators despite temperatures in the low 20s.

Santa Claus arrived on a firetruck for the lighting, but his work had just begun as children lined up to express their gift wishes.

The lighting was emceed by Brandon Rowback of the city Recreation Commission who commended Townsend Leather, True Value Hardware and Kingsboro Lumber for their help in rehabilitating the park.

Surrounding him were 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski, Mayor Vincent DeSantis, City Court Judge Traci DiMezza and recently-elected Councilman-at-large William Rowback Jr.

At 7 p.m. the parade began at North Main Street at Eighth Avenue with state Assemblyman Robert Smullen leading the way with grand marshal Bella Romano and parade sponsor Julie Glover of the Glover Insurance Agency.

The Romano Acro Dance Academy dancers were not far behind. High Performance Dance Center, Highlights Performing Arts Gymnastics and Dance, and Shooting Stars Dance Academy also were in the parade.

For people who love horns, sirens and flashing lights, emergency vehicles were almost too numerous to count and from many areas.

“The parade is fantastic,” said Hilary Beavis of Gloversville. “I’ve seen many different floats. Each one is unique. It’s nice to see everybody from all over the area.”

“It’s pretty awesome for all the kids and a really great family gathering,” said Robert Allen of Johnstown.

The Boulevard Elementary School band treated the crowds to live music.

DHL, National Grid and Nick Stoner Trailers Snowmobile Club float provided a lot of brilliant color.

“I’m loving the parade, but it’s a little cold out here right now,” said Suzanne Wendolski of Johnstown. “It’s fun to watch a lot of the community.”

“It’s nice that they actually have a parade,” said Justin Haus of Gloversville. “Gloversville doesn’t have much, but when they have something, it brings people out.”

“It’s a good thing for the city,” said John Nellis of Gloversville. “We should have more activities for the community.”

By Patricia Older

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