Coatesville Christmas Parade is back and bigger than ever on Dec. 7

Mummer’s String Band along the Lincoln HIghway in Coatesville,PA
Image by: Robert O. Williams/ The Williams Group

COATESVILLE — Once again this year, Chester County’s largest hometown parade, down the historic Lincoln Highway, takes place on Dec. 7, 2019.  The Coatesville Christmas Parade, a holiday classic, begins at 10:00 a.m. starting at Strode Avenue and Lincoln Highway, and ends at the performing and judging area at 11th Avenue and Lincoln Highway. Originally a community project in the 1950s, the parade was then taken up by the Jaycees back in the 70s.This year, over 150 entries will grace the Lincoln Highway from dancers swirling their batons, to fleets of tow trucks, police cars and fire trucks, to local contractors showing off their custom-crafted floats. The Coatesville Christmas Parade has it all.

Parade-committee member, Greg DePedro, (and co-owner with his wife, Dorrie, of the Coatesville Flower Shop) reminisces about his long tenure with the parade, “This is Chester Country’s hometown Christmas parade. We have two hours of pure enjoyment for children and their families. I started with the Coatesville Christmas Parade in 1976 when it was an undertaking of the Jaycees. Back then, it was a fellow named Fred Wolfe and I who took it on as a project. Fred was active with me for years until he passed away,” says DePedro, wistfully. “He was a great guy and we really moved the parade forward together.”

This year’s presenting sponsor is Penn Medicine.”Chester County Hospital and Lancaster General Health Parkesburg are proud to be members of Penn Medicine.With physicians, programs, services and locations throughout the western Chester County, we offer an array of inpatient, outpatient medical and surgical services so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Learn more at,” according to Scott C. Taylor of Lancaster General’s marketing department.
The parade is proud to honor as Grand Marshall’s this year, Jackie Milanese and the Milanese Family. Jackie is a proud resident of the City of Coatesville who’s optimistic about the future of Coatesville and honored to be in the Christmas Parade. She and her late husband, Gabe Milanese Sr., founded Milanese Remodeling in 1957. Jackie adds, “Our family business exists because Coatesville residents supported us right from the start. We’ve tried to show our appreciation by supporting efforts to improve the city.”
Jackie has opened her home and gardens on South Hill for fundraisers, volunteered time to the American Red Cross, served on the Coatesville School Board, and is a past president of the Coatesville Garden Club, Century Club, and the Congrega at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, all while being a homemaker and mother of six children. Gabe Sr. loved Coatesville and took his civic duty seriously. As an original member of the Coatesville RDA, Gabe was instrumental in securing “The Flats” from G.O. Carlson. Gabe helped integrate the Coatesville Country Club, sponsoring their first African American member. Gabe served on the board of Coatesville Savings Bank, supported local athletics, and sponsored championship teams for bowling, softball, and Midget Football.
Perhaps Jackie and Gabe’s greatest contribution to the community was to raise their children to also be active in improving Coatesville. Their children all graduated from the Coatesville Area School District. They’ve served on Coatesville City Council, South Coatesville Borough Council, Coatesville Jaycees, Coatesville Optimists, the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce Board, and supported Coatesville events from the Strawberry Festival to Buffalo Bill Days and the Grand Prix.  Mike and Mark Milanese, the 2nd generation owners of Milanese Remodeling add, ‘The Milanese family has always enjoyed participating in the Coatesville Christmas Parade and we are extremely honored Mom is the 2019 Grand Marshall.”
Featured this year will be the Duffy and Quaker City String bands. Also playing will be the Eagles Pep Band, the Lukens Band, the Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band, the Coatesville High School “Red Raider” Marching Band, the West Powelton Steppers Drill Team (the official drum line of the 76ers) and the Reilly Raiders Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps. Mascots will include Reggy The Purple Party Dude; along with a whole slew of cartoon characters who will entertain the crowd.
The parade has become a cherished memory for the families of the Coatesville area. This event now reaches into the hearts and memories of Coatesvillians everywhere, as it now streams live (and able to be viewed after the run date) on This annual gathering is a free event because of the generosity of sponsors like Penn Medicine, PECO, Penn Medicine’s Chester County Hospital, Penn Medicine’s Lancaster General Health, Tower Health’s Brandywine Hospital, Coatesville Savings Bank, Wegman’s, Breuninger Insurance, Brandywine Health Foundation, PA American Water, Edge Wallboard Machinery, G.A. Vietri, Inc., ServPro of Kennett Square, Courtyard by Marriott (Phila. /Exton), James J. Terry Funeral Home, Inc., CTDI, Walgreens, Brian Hoskin’s Ford, United Steel Workers, The City of Coatesville,, Herr’s, The Williams Group  and many others.
Also this year, look for local elementary, middle, and high school groups, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies.  There will also be dance academies, cheerleading groups, hip-hop dancers and baton twirlers. Not to be missed is the always-a-show-pleaser, larger-than-life cartoon characters. An automotive competition featuring Antique, Classic and Modified autos will be competing for prizes. Another competition is for Best Appearing Fire Apparatus, with the expectation that all the local fire companies in Western Chester County will be represented. Chester County police departments will compete for Best Appearing Police Vehicle.
The competition for Best Appearing Float sponsored by a non-profit organization features prizes of $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. There is also a Best Appearing Float sponsored by a for-profit organization. They compete for bragging rights and a plaque. Lastly, there will be a competition for Best Appearing Group. Note that all competitions are for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
Bringing up the rear of the parade will be none other than the big man himself, Santa Claus, riding on a Coatesville Fire Department truck. Admission is free.
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