Christmas is 100 days away, but the holiday is already on the mind of parade organizers in Gettysburg. The annual Christmas parade needs an infusion of cash or else it might have to be cancelled.
“Well the outlook is not good,” said Stephanie McIlwee, parade organizer.
With the community organization Olde Getty Place, McIlwee has helped to organize Gettysburg’s annual Halloween and Christmas parades.
The Halloween parade is set to go on as scheduled on Oct. 22nd with donations carried over from last year, but the Christmas parade, scheduled for Dec. 7th, is in limbo.
“The numbers are getting out of hand for us and it’s strictly done from donations from the community,” McIlwee said.
McIlwee said the borough is considering increasing parade permit fees from $1,000 to $1500. Overall, the parade costs about $4500 to put on. It’s money that Olde Getty Place does not have.
“I can’t imagine, Santa not coming to town for the little kids,” McIlwee said. “I think it’s very sad. It’s very sad. It’s not like we’re making anything on it. This is for the community.”
Michael Redding, a manager at the Pub and Restaurant on Gettyburg’s Square, said he has noticed decreasingly popularity of the Christmas parade in recent years.
“We don’t necessarily plan around the parade. It doesn’t affect us very much as it is, so to lose it, I’m not surprised,” Redding said.
But others like Maryann Oelkers said it would be a shame to see the parade go.
“Makes me very sad. It is a wonderful tradition and I’d like to see it continue,” Oelkers said.
No one at the borough hall was available to comment on the situation, but a borough employee said a public safety hearing is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23rd at 3 p.m. to consider raising parade permit fees.
If you’d like to make a donation to the parade you can make out a check to “Olde Getty Place” and put “parade” in the memo line. You can mail your check to Elm Street Program, Olde Getty Place, 40 E. High Street, Gettysburg, Pa 17325.