Parade to kick off Philipsburg holiday festivities

The Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School marching band plays down Front Street during the 2014 holiday parade.
The Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School marching band plays down Front Street during the 2014 holiday parade. Centre Daily Times, file

When Santa, Rudolph and Rudy ride into Philipsburg, you know Christmas has begun.

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without the annual Christmas Kickoff Parade, hosted on the first Saturday of every December along Front Street through downtown Philipsburg. And this year is no exception.

The parade is scheduled for Dec. 2, Philipsburg Revitalization Corporation Director Dana Shoemaker said. But this year there is one tiny wrinkle — the parade will be about an hour later than usual.

“The parade usually goes through at about noon,” Shoemaker said, “but we’ve pushed it to 1 p.m. this year.”

The short delay is due to an event hosted by CenClear Services at the Rowland Theater that morning, she said. With the need to shut down the street before the parade, Shoemaker said she didn’t want to deprive anyone of the ability to park by the theater.

But a short delay won’t affect what Shoemaker described as “simple affair,” but still a traditional one.

“The whole idea of the Christmas kickoff in Philipsburg that day is welcoming Santa into town,” she said, “bringing on the whole sense of the community Christmas season.”

The parade will feature the annual favorites, she said — Santa Claus on a Hope Fire Company truck, his reindeer and the Philipsburg Osceola Area High School marching band. After the parade, Santa will be appearing at Front and Centre Productions for photos.

Anyone interested in coming downtown before the parade can take part in the marching band’s annual cookie walk, she said. For $5, cookie lovers can choose cookies from a selection of donations.

The cookie walk is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 2 at the Two Painting Broads art center along Front Street, she said. Those interested are encouraged to attend early, or their selection may be limited.

This Christmas season also sees the return of an old area favorite — the large wooden Santa has been set back up at the Cold Stream Dam and recreational park.

Maintained by the Philipsburg Elk Lodge and a Philipsburg staple since the 1970s, Shoemaker said the Santa was absent last year due to reconstruction of the dam. But he’s back this year and already standing.

Later in December, area residents and visitors are welcome to participate in the second annual Historic Holiday Walking Tour, she said. Scheduled for 1-5 p.m. Dec. 17, the tour will feature churches, historic sites, private homes and businesses throughout the borough.

The tour was an old holiday favorite for many years before stopping some time ago, Shoemaker said. She was able to bring the tour back last year, where about 80 people participated.

This year’s tour will cost $10, she said, and features about 18 locations so far. Anyone interested in participating can contact Shoemaker at 577-3954.

“It’s nice because you get to be in the churches and see how nicely they’re decorated,” she said, “and visit some private homes of the people who really go out for Christmas.”

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

If you go

What: Christmas Kickoff Parade and Events

When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: downtown Philipsburg

What: Historic Holiday Walking Tour

When: 1-5 p.m. Dec. 17

Where: downtown Philipsburg

Info: 577-3954, mainst@philipsburgpa.org