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.
Even an extensive heat wave could not halt the July Fourth running of the 38th annual Revolutionary Run in Washington Crossing Park. Well over a thousand participants took part in the event that included a one mile fun run, a 5K and a 10K race. The whole affair is steeped in history. The race started in 1980 as a fund raiser for a local church. The Upper Makefield Business Association was asked to take control in 1999 and have been running the event ever since. The UMBA uses all proceeds from the race for Township emergency services and college scholarships. One of this year’s 10K participants, Yardley’s Christian Carabello, typifies the enthusiasm shown by all the runners. “The Revolutionary Run has quite a tradition. It’s always a great event with very strong participation. It draws a lot of people. It’s a very friendly event and there are always people watching or cheering you on. This is the fourth time I’ve done the Revolutionary Run.” Christian started his running career in high school but took time out to raise his own family. “When I had children I kind of put running on the back burner but my children are teenagers now. I am 48 now and am running pretty consistently. I did the Boston Marathon this past spring. I run a lot with the Bucks County Roadrunners which is a great organization. They had tent at the there and a number of their runners participated.”
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.
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.
PENNSBURY >> The Pennsbury High School Marching Band will trumpet in the New Year by marching in one of the premier parades in the world. On January 1, everything will be coming up roses for “The Long Orange Line” as the band performs in the nationally-televised Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. According to Pennsbury Band director Frank Mazzeo, extensive hours of logistical work, musical rehearsals, development planning, fundraising and safety precautions have gone into the preparations for the trip. ”On December 19 we packed the equipment and the students were incrdeibly excited - lots of smiles and expectations,” he said. Out of hundreds that applied, Pennsbury is one of 16 bands appearing in this year’s parade. The bands are selected based on musicianship, marching ability, uniqueness and entertainment value, said Mazzeo. Geographic diversity is also considered, he said. In addition, bands from around the world are invited. This year’s international musicians hail from Japan, Australia, Panama and Canada. Along the parade route, the Falcon band will be performing two patriotic Sousa Marches - “The Thunderer” and “El Capitan” - both originals by John Phillip Sousa. In addition, the band, unofficially known as “The Mickey Mouse Band” having traveled to and performed in all five Disney parks around the world, will be performing a Disney medley. While in California, the Pennsbury Marching Band also will participate in the Tournament of Roses Bandfest at Pasadena City College where they will perform this year’s field show, “At the End of the Rainbow,” march in the Disneyland Parade and participate in an instrumental soundtrack session at the Disney Performing Arts Workshop. In addition, the Pennsbury Concert Jazz Band will perform in a private concert at the Catalina Jazz Club with Tom Scott, a renowned composer, arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist with three Grammys and 14 Grammy nominations.