RAVENA-COEYMANS – The air was brisk but skies were clear and spirits were high for the annual Christmas parade Saturday.
The parade began in Coeymans Landing with the lighting of the town Christmas tree, and then a line of marchers, floats and fire trucks made their way up Main Street to the village tree, across the street from the Ravena firehouse.
Along the way, the streets were filled with onlookers who cheered as marchers passed by.
Once they reached the village Christmas tree on Main Street, village and town officials – and, of course, Santa Claus – climbed down from one of the fire trucks to welcome the crowd to the parade.
Ravena Mayor Bill Misuraca welcomed the crowd at the village tree, located at the veterans’ monument on Main Street. He tipped his hat to the organizers and people who made the parade possible.
“This is my third year and this is the biggest and the best,” Misuraca said. “We can’t do it without the workers and the helpers and volunteers, and fire companies and police.”
The parade is a good way to get everyone in the community involved, he added.
“It’s just a wonderful feeling – if we can get this kind of participation when it comes to big projects, we will be going places,” he said with a laugh.
For Coeymans Town Supervisor Philip Crandall, the annual parade is a great way to usher in the holiday season.
“This brings the whole community together,” Crandall said. “Everybody loves Christmas and the spirit of Christmas. It brings everyone together with such a wonderful spirit. It doesn’t matter who you are – everybody loves Christmas.”
Town Councilman Tom Dolan said sitting atop the fire truck’s roof with other town and village officials was a bipartisan show of community, and an exciting start to the season.
“It was a great event for the community,” Dolan said. “It’s really fun and it was good to see the crowd and all the decorated houses, and everyone seems to be enjoying the night. The weather is cold enough to know it is December but nice enough to be outside. There is a lot of holiday cheer.”
After the village tree was lit everyone headed across the street and into the Ravena firehouse for refreshments and a visit with Santa Claus.