Yuletyme Christmas Parade rolls through Tyrone

Santa Claus, the elves and even the Altoona Curve’s mascot Steamer rolled through Tyrone last evening for the annual Yuletyme Christmas Parade.
More than 40 groups participated in the event, which was postponed on two other occasions due to inclement weather. Even though Mother Nature refused to lift her cruel, cold touch for the festivities last evening, hundreds of people lined Pennsylvania Avenue as the floats, bands, fire trucks and twirlers marched by.
“We’re pleasantly surprised about the turnout we had this year,” said Rose Black, a member of the Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce and an organizer of the Yuletyme parade. “We thought that after we had to postpone it twice already, that more people would decide just to stay home. We’re especially glad that was not the case. Pennsylvania Avenue was full of people.
“It was nice to see.”
In all, 42 groups and organizations participated in the parade. These included a number of area fire and police departments with their emergency apparatus; floats by Tyrone Rotary Club, Baltimore Life Companies, St. Matthew School/Knights of Columbus, Tyrone Area High School Key Club, Tyrone Class of 1966, Tyrone American Legion, TAHS Future Farmers of America, and DelGrosso Amusement Park.
Also, TAHS middle and high school bands; the donation collection organizations of Salvation Army, Tyrone Area Community Organization and Dover Millionaires Inc.; and of course, Santa on Dave and Linda Hershey’s horse sleigh.
“It’s just a wonderful spectacle,” said Robin Hopkins of Tyrone, who attended the parade with her son Billy Morgan.
“I like everything,” said Billy. “Especially Santa Claus. I’m glad I got to see him.”
Three-year-old Austin Quinn of Tyrone also looked on in amazement as his mother stood by, pockets bulging from all the candy.
“I’m really having a good time here,” said Austin. “I got a lot of candy.”
According to Black, TACOC members judged floats on a criteria, which included originality and display.
“The floats all looked really good this year,” said Black. “It was evident that these people put a lot of time into them. The judges really had a hard time awarding just three winners.
First place went to the Tyrone Area High School Key Club and their gingerbread house-themed float. Tyrone’s Class of 1966 took second place honors, while DelGrosso’s Amusement Park and its carousel horses and sleigh won third place.
“This parade really set the tone for enjoying the holiday season in Tyrone,” said Tyrone Mayor Patricia Stoner. “On a scale of one to ten, I’d have to give everything last night a ‘10’. The crowd was one of the largest I’ve ever seen at our Christmas parades.”
Immediately following the parade, children had the opportunity to meet with Santa and enjoy refreshments at the Tyrone Armory. The Salvation Army provided hot chocolate and the Women’s Club of Tyrone provided homemade cookies.
Prior to the parade, a community lighting of a Christmas tree near the post office occurred, Speeches were made by Mayor Pat Stoner and Blair County Commissioner John Eichelberger, Cary Simpson and Denny Huber.