SAYRE - Friday evening's Sayre Borough Christmas Parade once again packed the downtown area with parade watchers of all ages who bundled up to ward off the chilly conditions and watched marching units, fire departments, and more than two dozen floats kick off the holiday season.

Sayre Borough Manager David Jarrett estimated there were "easily 5,000" spectators along the parade route from Sayre High School to Howard Elmer Park by way of West Lockhart Street, Desmond Street, and West Packer Avenue. Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw, who filled the role of Honorary Grand Marshal and later was an avid spectator at the borough hall, declared, "This is close to the biggest I've seen."

Shaw also noted it was a crowd in motion, with many parents, brothers and sisters following their family members who marched in bands or rode on floats. A Valley Kiwanis representative reported they had again distributed 1,200 children's books along the route.

From the starting siren at 6:30 p.m. until Santa Claus arrived at the finishing point, the parade lasted well over an hour. State Senator Gene Yaw led the parade as Grand Marshal and several other elected officials were in the lineup, as well as the Sayre High School Marching Band, the Penn-York Highlanders with their kilts and bagpipes, and the Kirby Band of Nichols, N.Y., the oldest active community band in the nation. The volunteer fire and rescue departments from the Valley and surrounding area were heavily represented, as the line of trucks with their lights activated stretched a full block along Desmond Street from Lockhart Street to Packer Avenue.

The magic moment came as Santa Claus appeared riding atop a Sayre Fire Department ladder truck, and the crowd closed in behind. In a few minutes the downtown streets were cleared, but Howard Elmer Park became a beehive of activity with youngsters anxiously awaiting their chance to meet Santa.