Families come out for parade and a ‘stroll’

Santa Claus waves to a crowd from a fire truck concluding the Holiday Parade Friday night in downtown Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Santa Claus waves to a crowd from a fire truck concluding the Holiday Parade Friday night in downtown Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Downtown was a burst of colorful festive energy Friday night, with spectators lining Main Street for the city-sponsored annual Holiday Parade and family-oriented Colonial Stroll activities that followed in the Sir William Johnson Park.

“We like it,” said Tom Casale of Johnstown, who watched the fun with his family. “This is our third time. The first time we were in it.”

His son, 6-year-old Austin, said he was excited for Christmas, hoping Santa brings him a “grocery game.”

Other parade spectators like Shawna Cole of Broadalbin and her family, had thoughts of Christmas on their minds. Her daughter, Destiny, wants an I-phone and her son, Richard, 6, wants an X-Box One.

Their hero – Santa Claus – made his expected arrival high atop a Johnstown City Fire Department truck to conclude the parade.

Girl Scouts sing carols at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Girl Scouts sing carols at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

The more-than 60-float, four-division parade started on East Main Street, between Chase Street and Jansen Avenue and advanced west along East and West Main streets toward the downtown Sir William Johnson Park.

The parade contained the usual mix of churches, police, fire and ambulance vehicles; politicians, pageant winners, Scouts, school children, veterans, and private businesses, service clubs, theatre groups, and local organizations.

Santa Claus also took part in the Colonial Stroll – a nighttime downtown carnival – that followed the parade at the Sir William Johnson Park off West Main Street.

Santa and Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson, accompanied by grandson Ian, lit the city’s Christmas tree in the park.

Covenant Presbyterian Church performed a live Nativity program following the tree lighting.

A Live Nativity is played out in the downtown area for the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A Live Nativity is played out in the downtown area for the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A Santa’s House was set up downtown for children to have their photos taken with Santa Claus.

Additional activities at Friday night’s Colonial Stroll included face painting at Vince’s Pizza & Pasta, 128 W. Main St. and food vendors were available for the public in the park. Stores were open downtown, some serving refreshments. Girl Scouts also sold cookies through the downtown area.

Horse-drawn wagon rides were available up and down Main Street.

The nearby Johnstown Historical Society, 17 N. William St., was open and had refreshments for stroll participants.

Over at the Johnson Hall State Historic Site on Hall Avenue, organizers also conducted a Holiday Open House Friday evening, in conjunction with the stroll. The hall was decorated for the holiday season and featured live 18th Century music performed by Liaison Plaisantes on the second floor.

Children watch a stage display at the downtown bandshell at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Children watch a stage display at the downtown bandshell at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Mulled cider and ginger cookies was served at the Slave Quarters fireplace. The museum shop offered 20 percent off for holiday shopping Friday night. Horse-drawn wagon rides on the mansion’s candlelit circular driveway by Fritz-Ann Farms were available to visitors.

Donations were accepted for the continued historic restoration efforts of Sir William Johnson and Molly Brant’s historic home.

Hall holiday activities were co-sponsored by Johnson Hall State Historic Site, Friends of Johnson Hall, Goderie’s Tree Farm, Hewitt’s Garden Center and the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson stands with grandson Ian and Santa Claus as they count  down the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson stands with grandson Ian and Santa Claus as they count down the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Kids get excited about seeing the beginning of the Johnstown Holiday Parade Friday night in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Kids get excited about seeing the beginning of the Johnstown Holiday Parade Friday night in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A snowman float graces the Johnstown Holiday Parade Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A snowman float graces the Johnstown Holiday Parade Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

The Johnstown Eagles float travels along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

The Johnstown Eagles float travels along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A snowman float graces the Johnstown Holiday Parade Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A snowman float graces the Johnstown Holiday Parade Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

The downtown Christmas tree is lit at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

The downtown Christmas tree is lit at the Johnstown Colonial Stroll Friday night in the city. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A colorful float travels along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A colorful float travels along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A float travels along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A float travels along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A firefighting character dances along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A firefighting character dances along the Johnstown Holiday Parade route Friday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

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