A day of Yuletide festivities is taking place in Salem City on this brisk December 7th. With temperatures creeping down as the sun continued to climb, residents gathered along the streets to enjoy the 2013 Magic of Christmas Parade that started promptly at 11:00 AM this morning.
Though it has been years since I have attended a parade, it had all of the ingredients I remembered from my youth. There were smiles abound as children dashed after candy being tossed from floats of all kinds, vintage cars, pageant winners, plenty of music, vendors, and of course, costumed characters.
While the cool breeze would have usually been enough to keep most people inside, the crowd was plentiful and excited though well bundled. Everyone in attendance, even some of the dogs, seemed to be dressed in bright colors and bubbling over with holiday cheer. Indeed I was hard pressed to find anyone not smiling and sharing stories with their neighbors on the curb.
Fire engines old and new gleamed in the eyes of young children while marching bands tickled the ears with holiday songs. There was even a children’s choir sharing carols with onlookers and a group on beautiful horses trotting along the route. Even Freeholder Lee Ware had the double pleasure of sitting atop a vintage Impala whilst tossing treats to county residents yet too young to vote.
As the parade came to a close, the Yuletide house tours began almost immediately. Anyone interested in history or architecture could really enjoy the chance to explore the restored homes in Salem City on the list and marked with signs. Some of the homes, in whole or in part, even predate the Revolution.
You could feel a real sense of pride amongst the owners of these properties as they displayed their labors of love. Many have been painstakingly restored, repaired, and decorated to accent the season. The stories are plentiful as are the refreshments and the fun.
If you haven’t been down to the tour yet, time is short but you can still make the trip. Tickets were still available for only $10 at the Royal Port Antiques shop and the proceeds help to decorate the city for this time of year.
Get yourself a hot cider and head on down to Salem City!
Staff photos taken by Luke Ottinger