Nestled at the gateway to the Ramapo Pass with the Ramapo Mountains as a backdrop, Suffern’s Lafayette Avenue is filled with small businesses and community-oriented residents which add to the charming, small-town feel reminiscent of the fictional Bedford Falls in the Frank Capra classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In recent years the small-town charm has only been enhanced as the village has embraced parades that draw larger and larger crowds. Parades have been held for winning teams, veterans and for the past three years to celebrate Christmas. There is no place else in the town better suited to honor and celebrate, well, just about everything and everyone worth honoring and celebrating in the area.
The annual Christmas parade, conceived three years ago as a joint effort between the Suffern Chamber of Commerce and former Recreation Director Gail Curtin, started off as a modest endeavor by design with the mandate to grow slowly in order to manage the process and learn important lessons each year that could be applied in subsequent years.
Now in its fourth season, the parade took a giant leap forward with 32 groups participating including fire departments, floats, the Suffern Marching Band and the 2014 New York State High School Volleyball team from Suffern High School.
The crowds continue to grow each year and the sidewalks filled up early as families weathered the cold and the wind to watch this year’s installment of the parade.
After lighting the Christmas tree at the Virginia Menschner Gazebo, families headed over to the Suffern Community Center for hot chocolate, cookies and a visit with Santa.
“This parade reinforces just how great this village truly is” said Suffern Mayor Trish Abato, “To see all of the families lining Lafayette Avenue and the smiling faces of children exemplifies what our village is all about! I want to thank everyone who was involved in planning this parade and everyone who helped to build and decorate the floats.”
Following is a list of the float/marchers and companies who took part in this year’s parade:
- Suffern Police Department DARE Truck
- Village Board & Isabelle Haggerty
- Antrim Playhouse Float
- Suffern Police Department DARE Corvette
- PBA Float
- All Souls Float
- Suffern DPW
- Suffern High School Marching Band
- Suffern High School Drum line
- Midget Mounties Float
- Suffern High School NYS Volleyball Champions Float
- Ramapo Central School District’s Dr. Douglas Adams
- Land of Misfit Toys Float
- NYS Pageant Girls
- Girl Scouts
- Boy Scouts
- Ramapo Riders
- Frozen Float featuring Talina Toscano
- Salamone Redi Mix Cement Truck
- Better Homes & Gardens Vehicle
- Ramapo Valley Ambulance
- Buckwild Towing
- Liberty Motors
- Paul Graham
- Rand Realty
- Suffern Sales
- Suffern Fire Department
- Monsey Fire Department
- Tallman Fire Department
- Tuxedo Fire Department
At the conclusion of the parade and the children’s visit with Santa, Santa Claus checked his naughty & nice list of Suffern children—twice, and was then whisked away to a secret location within the Village of Suffern in the Suffern D.A.R.E. truck where he made his way back to the North Pole aboard Santa 1. With just 18 days to go until Christmas, Santa has a full schedule in order to get ready for his biggest night of the year.
Amid all of the festivities, one person for whom Christmas meant the world was missing. Chickie Osborn lived for Christmas, decorating her home inside and out to celebrate the season and to make it special for her family. Ms. Osborn passed away unexpectantly in May of this year. Unknown to most, Suffern Mayor Trish Abato quietly dedicated this year’s parade to Mrs. Osborn.
R.I.P. Yvonne ‘Chickie’ Osborn 1935-2014