Yardley Borough >> As the first raindrops fell on the crowded intersection of Main and Afton, a sea of umbrellas opened almost simultaneously. The rain had arrived a little earlier than expected, but it couldn’t dampen the holiday spirit up and down Main Street where crowds of onlookers stood four and five people deep in spots to watch this year’s Olde-Fashioned Christmas Parade sponsored by McCaffrey’s Food Market and organized by the Yardley Business Association. Applause filled the air as an American Legion Post 317 Color Guard led the march north on Main Street.
YARDLEY BOROUGH >> From the waters of Lake Afton to Fitzgerald’s Field, Harvest Day bustled with fun and plenty of smiles on Saturday. Thousands descended on the riverfront town for a day of crafts, community information, fall fun, free entertainment and plenty of delicious food. Along Canal Street, the aroma of fried fish filled the air as ladies from the Yardley Baptist Church served its annual Harvest Day fish fry. Not far away, stationed at the western end of the College Avenue bridge, members from the Yardley-Makefield VFW were busy handing out poppies to the hundreds of visitors streaming over the bridge. At the opposite end of College Avenue within view of the Delaware River, youngsters were using their creativity to decorate pumpkins at one of the bigger draws of the day - the pumpkin decorating activity.
LOWER MAKEFIELD >> The township beamed with pride on Sunday as it marked the unofficial end of summer by celebrating community. From the time the event opened to the time it closed with a dazzling display of fireworks by the Zambelli Brothers, hundreds enjoyed Lower Makefield’s Community Pride Day as the final weekend of summer breezed by. And there were smiles everywhere you looked at Community Park, from the kids taking a whirlwind ride on the popular Gyro, to the young people competing in the 3v3 basketball tournament to the adults and kids testing their putting skills at an activity offered by the Makefield Highlands Golf Club.
The show brought this year’s Children’s Musical Theater camp to a crescendo as a room filled with parents, family members and friends enjoyed the summer production presented by the Bucks County Performing Arts Center and directed by Pennsbury elementary school vocal and music teacher Nancy VanDerBas. Open to students from 2nd through 8th grade, the camp introduces students to every aspect of musical theater from vocalization, acting and improvisation to dance and movement. Some also help behind the scenes with lighting, sets and sound. Considering the kids and their adult directors only had seven days to cast the show, learn lines, practice and rehearse major choreography numbers, the end result was nothing short of miraculous. As the kids took their bows, VanDerBas smiled broadly and joined the audience in applauding. The best part, she said, is seeing the kids “shine on stage,” which they did on July 19 with a tidal wave of under the sea fun and mythical adventure. When she began the summer camp close to four decades, VanDerBas said her goal was to use the arts as a way of building team work and skills while acquainting youngsters with acting, singing and dance. “I wanted each student to feel accepted in the program at every level from beginners to advanced,” she said. “And We help each other with everything from learning the script, songs and dance movements to costumes and set design. “I also wanted a place for children to learn how to create, sing, dance, learn scripts, work with others as part of a team and gain confidence by performing on stage,” said VanDerBas. The end result is phenomenal each year, she said, and extremely satisfying as a teacher.
Addressing the 823 graduates were student government president Courtney Fegley, graduating senior Sonali Deliwala, Superintendent William Gretzula, Pennsbury High School Principal Reggie Meadows and Pennsbury School Board President Jacqueline Redner. Ninety-one percent of the class will be attending post-secondary education, two percent will enter the military and four percent will join the workforce.
YARDLEY-MAKEFIELD >> Waving flags and cheering, thousands jammed Main Street in Yardley Borough on Monday to celebrate their freedom and to pay tribute to the men and women who died fighting to preserve it. Applause erupted from every corner of the street as veterans from American Legion Post 317 and Yardley-Makefield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6393 marched by carrying the American flag. Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and other wars joined the march either on foot or in a series of cars escorting them down the parade route. Among them was veteran Ed Torres, who served as Memorial Day bugler for many years. He waved to the crowds from inside one of the vehicles. The parade continued with the VFW and American Auxiliaries and their respective poppy queens. Also joining the march and firing their muskets along the route were re-enactors representing the Revolutionary War era and the 14th Continental Regiment. Their leader, Frank Lyons, the owner of the Continental Tavern, portrays John Glover in the annual reenactment of Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware River.
PENNSBURY >> From a life-sized airship streaming live scenes from around the Prom to A-List entertainer DJ Pauly D, Pennsbury lived up to its reputation as “The Best Prom in America” Saturday night. This year’s senior dance had it all - and then some. The evening began with a rainy, but spirited Prom Parade from the west to the east campus featuring more than 50 floats and vehicles celebrating this year’s Prom theme, “Destination Prom,” which celebrated exotic places and modes of transportation
LOWER MAKEFIELD>> In an Easter tradition dating back 35 years, seventh and eighth graders from St. Ignatius School will retell the story of Holy Week and Easter on Friday, March 23 at the church. The presentation of the Passion Play, which has become a rite of passage at the school on Reading Avenue, was written by Monsignor John Marine, now the pastor at St. Bede Church in Holland, when he was an assistant priest at St. Ignatius. Mary Alice LaMorte, Janet Padula and Margie Badman will direct a cast of 42 students as they tell the story of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. This year for the first time in many years, the narrative will begin with the nativity and then fast forward to the events of Holy Week, including Jesus’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Last Super on Maundy Thursday, the Way of the Cross on Good Friday and the Resurrection on Easter morning. The play is punctuated by moving and inspirational songs, including “I Surrender All” sung by Siana Falkenstein as Mary Mother of Jesus, “Lamb of God” by Kate Abdallah as Mary Magdalene, “Were You There” and “He’s Alive” by the entire cast.
Hundreds passed through the doors of the new building during a four hour open house designed to spotlight the new space and provide a sampling of the programs that will be offered inside its walls. The building’s all purpose room - the heart and soul of the new facility - and its auxiliary classrooms bustled with activities throughout the day as residents took self-guided tours, signed up for classes, took part in activities for the kids, including cupcake decorating, soccer skills and face painting, and learned about the township’s many organizations, including the Artists of Yardley, the Makefield Women’s Association, the Friends of the Lower Makefield Dog Park, and the Lower Makefield Historical Commission and Society. Just after noon, township officials and honored guests gathered in front of the new building on Oxford Valley Road to ceremoniously cut the ribbon on the new facility, which is home to the Lower Makefield Seniors and the township’s Parks and Recreation Department, both of which have relocated from the township building.
LOWER MAKEFIELD >> Celebrating its 75th Anniversary, the Tony Award winning musical comedy by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, “Oklahoma!,” written right here in Bucks County, is coming to the Pennwood Middle School stage on March 9-10. This high-spirited look back at the story of farm girl, Miss Laurey Williams, depicts how her tangle with two rival suitors, handsome cowboy Curly McClain, and brooding farmhand, Jud Fry, shakes up the territory. More than 100 Pennwood rising stars and countless volunteer friends and families have contributed time, skills and creativity to present the classic story starring Carissa Salzano as Miss Laurey Williams, Ryan Torres as Curly McLain, Elise Carey as Ado Annie Carnes, Jacob Rea as Will Parker, Vanessa Nolan as Aunt Eller Murphy, Drew Matheson as Ali Hakim, Madison Russell as Agnes Carnes, Avery Mackey as Jud Fry, Lily Erdogan as Gertie Cummins, a large, talented, energetic Chorus, and a dramatic dream ballet performed by Abby Moser.