Coatesville kicks off holiday season with tree lighting, race and parade

Holiday activities brings community together

By Lauren Parker- Gill, News Editor, The Times

The first Red Run Challenge was held Saturday morning with nearly 200 registrants and was well received by the community.

Coatesville – The first weekend of December was a busy, festive one for the city with the tree lighting in Gateway Park, the first annual Red Run Challenge and the Christmas Parade along Lincoln Highway.

The tree lighting at Gateway Park kicked off the festivities for the weekend, where the tree was adorned with white lights and children helped decorate with bows and red, black and silver ornaments – Santa even visited to wish everyone a merry Christmas.

The Red Run Challenge 5k and one-mile walk came together less than three months prior, when organizers Amy McFarland and Wendy Kurenda were disappointed to learn the Festive 5k from previous years was no longer being held. Wanting to carry on the tradition, the idea for a new race was born.

McFarland explained that the last-minute nature of their plans did involve some extra work, especially for the police department who needed to change their permit requests for the day to include the race and also rearrange their officers’ schedules for that day.

“We are so very grateful for the support of the Coatesville City Police Department, Coatesville City Council, Coatesville Area School District, Massage Envy, Second Wind Timing, students from TCHS, Dick Fitch and the parade committee.” McFarland stated. “They were all incredibly supportive and helpful – without them, our event would not have been possible or as successful as it was.”

Runners followed the race course up and down Lincoln Highway as bystanders cheered them on.

During race day registration, volunteers collected canned goods, which were donated to Jubilee Ministries and also collected donations of new toys for the West Caln Police Department’s 10th annual Toys for Tots drive.

The race was well attended, with 188 registrants. Sixth-grade student from Scott Middle School, Quinn Hewson ran the 5k in about 36 minutes.

“It was a great experience and I can’t wait to run the Red Run Challenge again next year.” Hewson said.
Overall race winners:

Lights and sirens of local fire and police kicked off the Christmas parade that began at Strode Avenue and traveled down Lincoln Highway to 11th Avenue.

Top three females overall:
1. Leslee Hoey 19:53.93
2. Julie Pangburn 20:45.15
3. Joanna Maris 21:22.20

Top three males overall:
1. Kyle Dawson 14:58.17
2. Owen Dawson 15:15.43
3. Jackson Davis 16:15.85

Following the inaugural race, the Coatesville Christmas Parade continued as it began at 10 a.m. with the lights and sirens of local fire engines and trucks down Lincoln Highway — a tradition that now spans decades.

Over 120 entrants participated in the parade that began at Strode Avenue in the West End of the city and continued down the main street of the city, to 11th Avenue. Participants included the Air Force Junior ROTC from Coatesville High School, the Lukens Band, local businesses, local fire and police, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, local church families, sports teams from Coatesville Area High School, the Coatesville High School Marching Red Raiders and the Meistersingers and nonprofit organizations.

Santa Claus and his elves wished all a merry Christmas and happy new yeat as they closed out the parade Saturday.

Of course Santa Clause and his elves closed out the parade riding on a Coatesville fire truck, wishing all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

2016 Parade Winners:

Best Appearing Float – Commercial

  1. Fling’s Towing
  2. Kens Towing
  3. CJ’s Automotive & Towing

Best Appearing Float – Nonprofit

  1. Mid-Atlantic Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club
  2. FISH – Fathers Involved Shedding Hope
  3. Chester County Chapter A.B.A.T.E.

Best Appearing Group

  1. Shannon Cooper’s Academy of Dance
  2. Pope John Paul II Cheerleaders
  3. Coatesville Senior High Air Force JROTC

Antique Automobile

  1. 1931 Model A Ford, Ted McLaughlin
  2. 1950 James Dean Mercury, Gordon Egolf
  3. 1931 Ford Pick-up, Robert Blacklock

Classic Automobile 

  1. 1996 Chevy Impala, Tony & Sally Maiale

Modified Automobile

  1. 1967 Chevy Camaro, Timmy Mohr
  2. 1947 Chevrolet Coupe Convertible, Francis Hess
  3. 1947 Ford Pick-up, Peter Schroeder

Best Appearing Fire Apparatus

  1. Alert Fire Compny #1
  2. Modena Fire Company
  3. Westwood Company

Best Appearing Police Unit

  1. West Caln Township Police Department
  2. Sadsbury Township Police Department
  3. Valley Township Police Department
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