The sounds of Christmas echoed throughout the city of Shamokin Saturday afternoon with the arrival of jolly old St. Nicholas in the annual pre-Christmas parade.
The procession was arranged by the Greater Shamokin Area Chamber of Commerce. The affair, staged on the twenty-fifth day before Christmas, was viewed by many persons of all ages who gathered along the parade route on the cold, drizzly day.
The parade was led by the Shamokin and Coal Township Police Departments. In a convertible rode Mayor Amos Miller and Torrence Spotts, president of the Coal Township commissioners, followed by Isreal Shusner, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and Michael Repella, vice president of the Downtown Merchants. Displaying their red and white uniforms for the first time were Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School band and majorettes. Following the band was a float sponsored by the Empire Beauty School with eight girls dressed in assorted colors and wearing the latest in wig creations.
Shamokin Area Junior High School band, with majorettes, presented Christmas selections preceded the float upon which Smokey the Bear rose. He waved to many children. Shamokin Area High School band, accompanied by majorettes and cheerleaders, played appropriate selections while marching in front of the float which carried Santa Claus. The float was designed by Weller Brothers of Shamokin. Marching in the parade, also, were the 1968 Tiger cheerleaders whose team was the champion this year.
At the conclusion of the parade, which traveled over the principal streets in central Shamokin, Santa entered the former Arvey’s Restaurant, Independence and Anthracite streets, where he held court for scores of children.
While in the former restaurant, Santa wished everyone a merry Christman and said he enjoyed his trip from the North Pole. Children in single file were greeted by St. Nick. His visit lasted until 6:30 Saturday evening.
Santa’s float this year was decorated in Yuletide colors. A large white swan adorned the front.
The Christmas decorations on Independence Street were illuminated for the first time Friday night.
Frederick Reed and John Reid served as parade marshals.