NORWICH – With just 52 days remaining before the 2016 Norwich Community Parade of Lights, and just 81 days before Christmas, it is time for those planning to participate in the parade to get their ducks in a row.
“The parade has actually been around since the 80’s when it was presented by the Norwich Merchant’s Association and took place the Friday morning after Thanksgiving”, stated Richard Snyder President of Snyder Communications. 22 years ago The Evening Sun and the Pennysaver took over responsibility for the event and it has been going strong ever since but with a significant change. About 12 years ago, at the suggestion of the Norwich Fire Department Chief at the time, the parade was moved to Saturday Evening after Thanksgiving. His suggestion was also to make it a Festival of Lights Parade with strong participation from all of the fire departments in the area”, continued Snyder. And that appears to have been a very winning formula.
“We love doing it and the community looks forward to it every year,” said Parade Coordinator Mike McCormack.
Each year a solid group of local merchants, Fire Departments, and organizations participate in the parade that fills downtown Norwich with children and their families.
McCormack explained that costs are continuing to escalate to keep the parade afloat, and such costs include dramatic increases in (rising) insurance costs to cover the event, police overtime, city permits, state permits, entertainment sound systems, costumes and giveaways.
McCormack extended his gratitude to those who support the parade each year.
“These donations help to defray some of the cost and Snyder Communications then makes up the difference each year,” said McCormack.
“We are hoping that the community can help support this event and keep is going,” said McCormack.
Testimonials from past parades come from Norwich Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo, retired Norwich Police Chief Joseph Angelino, and 2011 Grand Marshal the late Linda Green.
“This is an event that our entire community should be proud of,” said Chawgo. “It has brought happiness to our community year after year.”..