The Moorestown Lions Club will host its 62nd annual holiday parade on Saturday, Dec. 2, from noon to 2 p.m.
This year’s theme is “The Nutcracker,” and the rain-or-shine outdoors event will start on Chester Avenue, travel down Main Street and end at Church Street. As with every year, residents can expect to see floats, fire trucks, the Boy and Girl Scouts, marching bands and more. Judges will award prizes to floats and groups.
“It’s all about everybody in the Moorestown community,” said Lions Club member Ashley Ward.
The parade was canceled in 2020 due to COVID, but Ward shared how the consensus of the club is that it didn’t miss a beat upon its return.
“I came into this club after COVID hit, so there really hasn’t been much of a change, other than that one year that we didn’t have it,” Ward said. “The parade is an outside event; if it’s raining or snowing or sunshine, you come.”
Since joining the club, Ward has helped organize several events that included the annual beef and beer and the Topgolf outing, but she also helps to preserve the Lions’ holiday parade float: Santa on his sleigh.
“If the paint is starting to fade a little, we try and cover the sled,” she explained. “I try and cover the sled as best as I can, but sometimes the wind and the water start, and then you might have to patch it up a little bit. I see where it’s at and where we had it before (and) I was with it every day.
“I’m still with it every day to keep an eye on it,” Ward added. “That final float is the parade. That’s what it’s all about. To us, it’s the start of the season.”
Taking care of the float is no small task, but Ward appreciates the moment when she can photograph it coming down Main Street.
“I just love watching it coming at me, because I not only decorate the sled but the truck that drives it and pulls it … ” she noted. “Last year, I had it decorated with candy canes, and it had a bar where I wrapped garland with lights and I had a wreath that lit up.
“It was all decked out – the truck and the trailer – for Christmas.”
Other township holiday events include the Community House of Moorestown’s children’s holiday shop on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2; the community house tree lighting celebration on Monday, Dec. 4; and the Moorestown Jewish Association’s annual outdoor menorah lighting on Thursday, Dec. 14.
But Ward believes the parade is what gets the holiday ball rolling.
“You have the parade and then you realize, ‘Oh yeah, now it’s the holidays, you have X number of days until Christmas,’” she said. “ … We start it off, and then different holiday events keep on coming.”
All proceeds devoted to Moorestown Lions’ projects benefit the sight and hearing impaired, special needs individuals, youth programs and scholarships. For more information, visit the club’s Facebook and Instagram pages.