Lights parade brings out the crowd

A magical night: Chester brings all the joys of the season to its historic downtown


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Photos



  • The Tetz Clydesdales were a bit hit (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • LMR Towing White Truck had a nice holiday message (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Maragliano Trucking (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Santa and Mrs. Claus (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Pastor Erin Moore of the First Presbyterian Church of Chester (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • A polar bear was happy with his present (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • The Gingerbread Man and the Kiwanians' toy-filled float (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • A firefighter and his dog from Cornwall-on-Hudson (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Song of the Valley Sweet Adelines (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • The crowd starts to gather outside the Erie Station (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Josephine Roach, 4, enjoyed the model train (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Racquel Colon, part of the Kiwanis float, was in full elf regalia (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Three girls wave to the crowd (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Hooray! The tree is lit. (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Tank Masters (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Sweet Adelines rehearse (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Santa arrives but, like a true rock star, is lost in the crush of the crowd (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Santa and the lit tree (Photo by Ginny Privitar)



By Ginny Privitar

— All of Chester seemed to be there, cocoa in hand, exchanging holiday greetings with friends and strangers alike.

Things started popping at around 4:30 p.m. last Sunday at the Erie station, which was decked out in lights as the crowd began to gather outside for the Holiday Lights Parade. The line of march was forming down on Hudson Street. The parade would start there before turning down Main Street.

In the meantime, The Song of the Valley Sweet Adelines were inside the warm station, rehearsing. They then mounted a flatbed truck so everyone could see them gloriously sing holiday favorites.

The procession started to move. Early in the parade, the Tetz Clydesdales were a show-stopper.

A cavalcade of brightly lit trucks and trailers passed by, with some disgorging children — Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, dancers, and students — at the station, where treats awaited. Mixed in were several colorful and inventive floats. The Kiwanis float was a standout, piled with toys, including some giant jacks, a real live Jill-in-the Box, and Kiwanians dressed as elves, Raggedy Ann, and other characters.

The New York Dance group stopped to perform in front of the station. The Chester Academy Choir lent their soaring voices in song. Several decorated firetrucks from Chester, Goshen, and Cornwall preceded a very grand entrance...

At last, the big man in red arrived. Clearly, he was the celebrity everyone was waiting for. He was immediately swallowed up by the crowd.

The fun was at full swing when attention turned to the tree. Everyone counted down to the lighting up.

For a few anxious moments, nothing happened. Then, like magic, the tree was suddenly ablaze with hundreds of colored lights.

Revelers mingled with their neighbors inside the Erie station, where members of the Chester Historical Society had set out tables laden with every kind of cookie, pastry, and cake imaginable. Cups of cocoa were passed out by the hundreds.

It was a magical night. The season, whatever else it brings, has started out right in Chester. Editor's note: This article has been updated.

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