Kennett Holiday Light Parade
● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square was all dressed up for Christmas on Friday, Nov. 24, as the town welcomed the arrival of the holiday season with the popular annual Kennett Holiday Light Parade.
The shops and restaurants in town were all festively decorated and filled with happy customers. As people started to line up along the parade route—by the time the parade started moving State Street's sidewalks were filled with onlookers—others opted to dine at La Verona, The Market at Liberty Place, or one of Kennett Square's other restaurants that offered a view of the parade. Still others opted for a snack or warm drink at Talula's Table, Las Alondras Bakery, or Philter.
Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick served as the master of ceremonies for the evening's events, which included the lighting of the town Christmas tree. Students from Longwood Performing Arts entertained the crowd with not one, but two performances.
As the parade got underway, floats and vehicles, all colorfully decorated, stretched from one end of State Street to the other. The Kennett High School Marching Band, local Boy Scouts, and students from the Chesco Dance Center were among the groups that participated in the parade. Various organizations and businesses in the community, ranging from the Technical College High School to Family Promise of Southern Chester County to the Unionville Community Fair to the Southern Chester County Soccer Association were represented in the parade. Fire trucks, with their impressive sounds and lights, were a big hit with children in the crowd. The highlight of the parade, of course, was the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The Christmas cheer in Kennett Square will continue throughout the holiday season with many different events and activities. The enormously popular Kennett Holiday Village Market returns this year on the first two weekends in December. This artisan market is filled with unique holiday gift options from local and regional vendors. The village market includes food trucks, ice sculptures, seasonal craft workshops, live music, a photobooth, children's crafts, Christmas tree and greenery sales and one-of-kind holiday shopping at the enchanting Creamery of Kennett Square.
Horse-drawn carriage rides are available in Kennett Square on Sunday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 17 from noon to 3 p.m.
On Saturday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 and Dec. 23, there will be strolling holiday carols from the Brandywine Singers.
The Penny Lane Emporium will be holding holiday craft workshops. The KATS Holiday Gala takes place on Friday, Dec. 8. The Flash is hosting several different holiday shows this month, including the 7th annual Non-Denominational Holiday Extravaganza with the Better Than Bacon Improv Comedy group on Saturday, Dec. 16. On that same day, the Kennett Library is hosting its Winter Solstice Faire from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The library will be transformed into a holiday market, with local artists and craftspeople selling their wares.
Santa Claus will be making several stops in town during the Christmas season. On Saturday, Dec. 9, he will be having brunch with the community from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen. The next day, Sunday, Dec. 10, Santa will be enjoying a breakfast with the community from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Kennett Fire Company. Tickets for the breakfast are $10 for adults and $8 for children between the ages of 3 and 12. The ticket includes one picture with Santa. Then, on Sunday, Dec. 17, Santa will be at a brunch at Victory Brewing Company from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A great way to get into the Christmas spirit is to visit Longwood Gardens, where “A Longwood Christmas” is on display now through Jan. 7, 2018. The Christmas in Kennett shuttle makes it even more convenient for people to shop and dine in Kennett Square, and then visit the world-renowned Longwood Gardens. The shuttle runs each Saturday through Dec. 30. The shuttle departs Kennett Square for Longwood Gardens every half hour from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Shuttles return visitors to Kennett Square from Longwood Gardens from 3:30 to 10 p.m. This option requires a special timed ticket purchased from Longwood Gardens.
On the evening of Dec. 31, celebrate the arrival of the New Year at the most festive New Year's Eve celebration in the area during the fourth annual Midnight in the Square celebration.
More information about all these activities and more can be found on Historic Kennett Square's website and Facebook page.