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Santa Coming Sunday in Hometown Christmas Parade
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Santa is again coming to the Upper Perkiomen Valley. The Hometown Christmas Parade is scheduled for this Sunday afternoon. The three-mile parade will begin at 1 p.m., starting at Fifth and Main streets in Red Hill and traveling the three

miles of Main Street through Red Hill, and Pennsburg, ending at Fourth and Main streets in East Greenville.

            "We're hoping for a good turnout," said Thomas Spaar, the event organizer.

            Two horses will pull Santa on a sleigh from the Red Hill Fire Company in Red Hill through Pennsburg, to the East Greenville Fire Company. Various animals and their human counterparts precede the sleigh in the proceedings – there are no motorized vehicles in the parade.

The event usually features multiple horseback riders and local scout troops. However, inclement weather could shorten the number of participants, according to Spaar.

            "The weather will not stop us," he said.

            Following the parade, Santa Land at St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church – located at 81 N. Main St. in Pennsburg – is scheduled to include a dog agility course, pony rides, a live Nativity scene and other activities for the children, according to Spaar. It also includes the opportunity to visit with Santa. However, all of the post-parade events are dependent on the weather, according to the Spaar.

            The church is hosting Mrs. Claus' Café, which begins at 1 p.m. Cookie decorating will also be available inside the facility.

            Parade organizers will have oranges to pass out during the parade. Spaar said he purchased 5,000 at a cost of $2,100.

            "We raised enough money to cover all our costs," said Spaar, a Hereford resident. He noted that the donations ranged from $25 to $500.

            "This was our most challenging year in terms of raising money," he said.

            Thomas Spaar's father, Kurney, started the annual event in late 1952. Ill health forced Kurney to suspend the annual event in 1977.  In 1996, at the age of 83, he returned to his familiar role as St. Nick. Four years later, Thomas Spaar took over that role for the ride along Main Street.





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