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The Pinkerton Academy band, seen in last year's parade, will be taking part in this year's festivities. (ADAM SWIFT PHOTO)

Parade highlights Derry holiday festivities

DERRY - The holiday season kicks off in Derry on Saturday, Nov. 24, with a full slate of events, including the annual holiday parade through downtown.

The theme of this year's Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce's Holiday parade is Songs and Sounds of the Holiday Season.

The parade will feature marching bands, civic leaders and floats designed by local businesses, charitable institutions and schools.

The float line-up will begin at 11:30 a.m., with the event kicking off at 1 p.m.

The parade begins on West Broadway, turns down Crystal Avenue, and ends at Hood Commons.

As has become tradition on the day of the holiday parade, the Derry Recreation Department has a full slate of seasonal events at a number of locations following the parade.

A Very Derry Holiday takes place at Veterans Hall at 31 West Broadway from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature cookie decorating, face painting and a Santa's workshop where children can make their own wooden toys.

Down the road at the Adams Memorial Opera House, the recreation department will be hosting a musical performance by Rick Charette from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children will also be able to have their pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus for $5.

While the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce has traditionally taken the lead in the annual Holiday Parade, this year it is upping the holiday cheer with the inaugural Holiday Wreath Stroll.

"The Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber has been reaching out to local business owners to participate in the Holiday Wreath Stroll," said chamber Executive Director Stacey Bruzzese. "Each participating business has been given an artificial wreath to decorate for display in the chamber's offices. The idea is that each wreath will be representative of the business that donates it."

The wreaths will be collected prior to the holiday parade and on display for the public during the day of the parade. Refreshments will be served in the chamber offices throughout the day and there will be silent auction bidding on the wreaths.

The winners will be announced at the chamber's holiday open house on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.


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