Lighted wreaths with red bows topped the street lamps lining Spring Street in Newton on Saturday morning. They were there the Saturday after last Thanksgiving, too. But because of Covid, they did not overlook the popular annual Newton Holiday Parade, which had to be canceled.
This year, the parade returned with the theme “An Old Fashioned Christmas.”
“It’s good to be back,” said parade enthusiast Dean Giering of Newton. “I really missed the parade last year.”
Lorelai Brown of Jefferson came with her brother and mom. “I’m super excited,” she said.
Her brother, Henry, added, “At first I thought this was the leprechaun parade — the former Sussex County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade — but now I know it’s the one with Santa. I can’t wait to see him.”
Their mother, Courtney Brown, grew up in Newton and loves the parade.
“It’s outside, and things have reached their time to come back,” she said. “Everybody has had the time to do what they have to do with Covid. It’s just time to come back.”
A plethora of floats streamed down Spring Street. Beauty pageant winners from several Sussex County towns waved to the crowd as they rode in classic cars. Numerous fire trucks turned out, one of the last of which carried Santa himself. Dignitaries marched, and the Scouts too were well represented.
D’marge Dance School, led by dance teacher and choreographer Lori Coiro, performed a stunning tap ensemble. The Kittatinny Marching Band, directed by Jarred Matthes, regaled spectators with some great holiday tunes.
Fond memories for the Webers
And then there was the extended Weber family. They’ve come to this parade for years, but this year it was without both the patriarch and matriarch. Judge Frederic Gordon Weber died in 2018, and a few months ago, the family lost Patricia Anne Banghart Weber. Both had been given the honor of ringing the Newton Town Crier’s bell the last time each had attended the parade.
“Mom and Dad always enjoyed this parade, and we miss them,” said Patti Weber-Rittenhouse.
Her sister Gretchen Lauzon said, “My dad just loved this parade.”
The parade is organized by The Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re just so glad to be back and see so many people out here to enjoy the parade,” said chamber vice president Kimberley Williams. “This year, for the first time, we added a hot chocolate bar, and people are loving it.”
“It’s outside, and things have reached their time to come back. Everybody has had the time to do what they have to do with Covid. It’s just time to come back.” Courtney Brown