QVC, West Chester gear up for holiday parade, Friday


QVC Program Host Nancy Hornback celebrates at last year’s parade in downtown West Chester.

WEST CHESTER — The 36th annual Mars Drinks Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade Presented by QVC will be shared with millions of homes across the country as QVC, Inc. broadcasts it live from downtown West Chester on Friday, Dec. 4, beginning at 7:15pm. QVC program hosts, including Masters of Ceremonies Carolyn Gracie and Dan Hughes, QVC leadership and employees will be a major presence at what USA TODAY deemed one of the Top 10 places to see Santa Claus.

“The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce has been proud to present this festive holiday tradition since 1979,” says Mark Yoder, Chamber president. “It has grown to become one of the most popular events in the region, and we appreciate the tremendous support of sponsors and volunteers.” The colorful “moving show of entertainment” features more than an hour of live entertainment and kicks off with plans for a spectacular production number which will feature 200 performers and pop star Ashlee Keating singing her original song “Ice Kingdom,” according to Yoder.

“It’s hard to believe that our parade is now viewed from coast to coast,” say parade producers Todd Marcocci and Amy Walp of Under the Sun Productions Inc., who volunteer their services to organize the event, “but thanks to QVC’s broadcasts, it can be enjoyed in living rooms of people who once did not know where West Chester, Pennsylvania is located . . . but they do now!”

In addition to nationally acclaimed entertainment groups, parade-goers will be treated to exciting floats, giant character balloons, celebrities, antique cars, and more than a dozen regional high school and college marching bands, culminating with the much-anticipated arrival of Santa. The parade, which follows a one-mile loop through the heart of West Chester’s historic district, loops around Market Street and Gay Street, attracting approximately 35,000 spectators annually.

“West Chester has been QVC’s home for nearly three decades, and the Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade is a community tradition we all look forward to each year,” says Doug Rose, Senior Vice President, Brand and Communications, QVC. “The parade truly brings neighbors together to celebrate the season, and we are excited to participate and share the magic of this event with millions of viewers across the country.”

QVC Program Host Albany Irvin will provide live commentary for the QVC broadcast. QVC Program Hosts Gabrielle Kerr and Mary DeAngelis will emcee the pre-parade festivities, and Carolyn Gracie and Dan Hughes will join 6abc’s Adam Joseph to emcee the parade starting at 7:15 pm. The parade will also feature QVC Program Hosts Mary Beth Roe, Courtney Cason and Elise Ivy.

Parade attendees can visit QVC’s Holiday Tent (located within the Holiday Festival on North High Street) to enjoy free Cheryl’s Cookies while being serenaded by the QVC Singers. The QVC Selfie Station will provide holiday props to capture and share photos (#wcchristmasparade). There will also be opportunities for parade-goers to share their favorite holiday memories and wishes for this year with QVC Program Hosts Jennifer Coffey and Katie McGee, to be aired during portions of QVC’s Christmas Day programming.

At 6:30 p.m. hundreds of runners dressed in creative holiday garb and wearing Jingle Elf hats to keep their ears warm will vie for cash prizes (including one for best elf costume) as they run two miles or walk one mile along the parade route in the 7th annual Jingle Elf Run, sponsored by ACAC, to benefit West Chester’s volunteer Fame Fire Company.

More than a dozen high school marching bands will vie in one of the few competitive parade opportunities remaining on the East Coast for high school bands, hoping to win a trophy and their share of $5,500 in prize money, plus an additional $500 Fan Favorite award, all sponsored by Univest Bank and Trust. The 2014 Grand Champion, Marple Newtown High School Band, will lead the parade as Honor Band, followed by bands from West Chester Henderson, West Chester East and West Chester Rustin; Avon Grove, Downingtown, Bishop Shanahan, Owen J. Roberts, Chichester, Octorara, Daniel Boone Area High School, Jackson Liberty, Springfield (DelCo), Pottsgrove and. A.I. duPont High School.

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment