Newtown Business Association
NEWTOWN - The spirit of the season broke through the gloominess of the day as this year’s McCaffrey’s Food Markets Newtown Holiday Parade marched through town with a holiday sparkle in its eye. From the instrumentalists playing holiday tunes to the jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho’s” coming from Santa Claus, even the Grinch, riding aboard the First National Bank float felt the spirit as he waved to the crowd. Despite the occasional drizzle and overcast and foggy skies, hundreds lined the parade as temperatures reached into the 50s.
even as occasional rumbles of thunder rolled and lightning flashed across the sky, hearty car enthusiasts with umbrellas in hand made their way down the street checking out this year’s amazing collection of vehicles numbering well north of 100. While there were some car owners who turned on the wipers early and headed for home, many of the car owners stuck it out, hoping the rain would be short lived. They sought refuge from the raindrops under nearby overhangs and inside their vehicles - any place to keep dry. “The owners have been very patient,” said show director Rich Napoli., expressing his appreciation to them for sticking it out. “We have some beautiful Cadillacs here and a stunning Bentley. They’re all here and they’re all staying,” he said of the 150 or so vehicles lining the street. The show’s Logistics director Paul Salvatore said they lost a few cars due to the rain, “but a lot showed up, too,” he said. “The cars are here and we’re judging them. We’re not leaving,” he said.
Newtown >> Hundreds of kids, parents and even grandparents scrambled across the grassy fields behind Goodnoe Elementary School on Saturday morning making for quite a sight as they scooped up a record-setting 6,000 brightly colored plastic eggs in just under 15 minutes. Despite being postponed a week due to a March Nor’easter that left the fields covered in snow instead of Easter eggs, hundreds turned out for the event, jamming the athletic fields on the day before Easter with kids, adults and lots and lots of energy.
Smiles, laughter and excitement were everywhere Sunday afternoon as the McCaffrey's Christmas Parade spread music and joy from one end of Newtown to the other. Organized by the Newtown Business Association, the parade had all the trimmings of the season from dancing trees and candy canes to Santa and Mrs. Claus who traveled from the North Pole for the parade. "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas," said Santa from his seat of honor aboard an antique Newtown fire engine as it rolled down State Street. "What a great turnout of people," he said as he waved to the thousands of people lining the parade route from the Stocking Works, through the historic State Street business district and along Sycamore Street. "It warms my heart to see so many people and the holiday spirit alive and well in Bucks County." District Judge Mick Petrucci and Newtown Borough tax collector Judy Musto provided a running commentary of the parade from their balcony seats overlooking Sycamore Street at Goodnoe Corners. It was the place to be as performers turned the street into a stage entertaining the crowds with dancing, twirling flags and music. Escorted by Newtown Township Police Chief Rick Pasqualini and Newtown Borough Chief Tony Wojciechowski, the parade stepped off with an American Legion color guard from Newtown Post 440. Musket fire filled the air as the 1st Crossing Volunteers, an 18th century re-enactment group from Crossing Community Church, brought back the days of the American Revolution.
The youngest - cutely dressed in spring colors and Easter outfits - were the first to scramper onto the field with their parents in tow. They were followed by a string of age groups up to and including teens, grandparents and adults. It took hours for volunteers to fill the more than 7,000 plastic eggs with prizes. But it took just a matter of minutes for the kids, adults and grandparents to scoop them up from the grassy fields. In what seemed like the blink of an eye the plastic eggs, donated by the First National Bank of Newtown, disappeared from the fields in the pre-Easter dash of enthusiasm. Probably the craziest moments of the morning - and something unique to the Newtown egg hunt - came when the adults were invited to join the hunt. No sooner had Petrucci shouted the word “go,” every egg on the field had been scopped up by the adults in a frenzied race across the grass. “It was like they had vaccums on their arms just sucking them up,” said Newtown Township Supervisor Gerry Couch, who knew enough to jump to the sidelines before the adults hit the field. “It was amazing. They went across the field as a group and everything behind them was clean.”
Billed as the biggest Holiday Parade in Bucks County, the march stepped off with Newtown Borough Police Chief Anthony Wojciechowski and motorcycle officers from Newtown Township leading the way followed by a color guard from American Legion Post 440 and the 1st Crossing Volunteers, an 18th century re-enactment group from Crossing Community Church who paused occasionally along the route to fire salutes. Newtown Borough Mayor Charles Swartz tipped his top hat to the people lining the streets as he rode by with State Representative-elect Perry Warren and borough councilor Tara Grude-McLaughlin. The Newtown Democrats and the Newtown Republicans also joined the march, including District Attorney Matthew Weintraub, Bucks County Controller Mike Gallagher and Newtown Township Supervisors Ryan Gallagher and Kyle Davis. Five string bands, including Ferko, Uptown, Quaker City, Aqua and Greater Kensington had people dancing in the streets - and on the sidewalks - to the unique Philadelphia “show of shows” sound.
This year’s show, held under partly cloudy skies with low humidity, drew record crowds to the street with some estimates running as high as 10,000 people. Beverly Dimler, the president of the Newtown Business Association, attributed the turnout to the outstanding weather and to a number of changes instituted by show director Napoli and his volunteer committee. Those changes included moving the event from the third to the second Sunday of July to avoid conflicts with the Doylestown Auto Show; expanding the show to include a featured model (this year it was the Jaguar); adding new categories; added a new logo; boosting sponsorships; and the addition of new vehicles to the show, including an electric car. “This has been by far the best attended car show we’ve ever had,” said Dimler, who spent a busy day selling car show t-shirts and posters at the NBA booth in front of the Newtown Borough Hall. “We gave away more than 2,500 NBA bags in the first several hours. We’ve had more sponsors than ever before. We are just so pleased. “Rich has done a fantastic job,” Dimler continued. “This is his third year as chairman and every year he improves it ten-fold. I giv
In spite of the rain, gloom and cold, Welcome Day unfolded on a wet Sycamore Street with vendors on the street and music filling the air. Yes, the rainy day forced the cancellation of a number of events, including a performance by the Greater Kensington String Band and Action Karate. It also forced a number of vendors to pull out as the rain moved in. But organizers and participants responded by turning a lemon of a day into lemonade. Beverly Dimler, the president of the Newtown Business Association, which organizes Welcome Day, was sweetening the dreary weather with free Rice Crispy treats at her Penn Self Storage booth. Meanwhile, down the street, Zoe’s Kitchen, was giving away free samples of their delicious humus and pita bread.
“We’re going to have a lot of unique artists this year,” said Newtown Business Association President Beverly Dimler. “If you’re shopping for Mother’s Day, bar mitzvahs and graduations, Welcome Day is a great place to stop for unique items because we only allow artists and crafters that make their own wares."
Thousands of brightly-colored eggs disappeared in an instant as a springtime tradition swept across Pickering Field Saturday morning in a pre-Easter dash of enthusiasm. Despite chilly late winter temperatures, more than 600 turned out for the Newtown Business Association’s Egg Hunt, lining the open field next to Pickering Manor with their baskets in hand and warmly bundled up in jackets, coats and hats. In the hours leading up to the hunt, volunteers from the NBA had scattered 3,300 brightly-colored plastic eggs across the grass, including 1,000 stuffed with special prizes from restaurant gift certificates to gift baskets and lots more.