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Mother Nature couldn’t compete with McKeesport’s 52nd annual Salute to Santa Parade, which went off without a hitch despite sleet and near-freezing temperatures. On November 19, spectators braved nasty weather conditions for the holiday procession.
<b>Mother Nature couldn’t compete with McKeesport’s 52nd annual Salute to Santa Parade, which went off without a hitch despite sleet and near-freezing temperatures.
On November 19, several hundred spectators braved nasty weather conditions to stand along Fifth Avenue as nearly 100 units passed in the city’s traditional holiday procession.</b>
“The Christmas parade is a true McKeesport tradition,” Mayor Michael Cherepko said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing, if it’s 60 degrees or 20 degrees. People from all over the Mon Valley come to downtown McKeesport on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to be a part of this great community event. There’s no doubt it brings out the holiday spirit in all of us.”
Parade participants included Shriner Clowns and Road Rigs; Allegheny County Police Department’s Mounted Unit; Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Pack 916; Girl Scouts of America Troops 52214 and 58112; Free and Accepted Masons; Serra Catholic, Elizabeth Forward and McKeesport Area marching bands; Duquesne/West Mifflin Boys & Girls Club “Duchess” Drill Team; White Oak Athletic Association; the Black Berets; WQED’s Rick Sebak; Blueroof Technologies; McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center; GTECH Strategies; YouthCAST Leadership Network; Hasaan Allen Dance Company; the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; Auberle; McKeesport and Mon-Valley Girls Softball Association; Propel McKeesport; McKeesport Trail Commission; McKeesport Area’s AMP’d Robotics; Twin Rivers AIMS students; Francis McClure ACES students, Mary of Nazareth Catholic School; White Oak Rotary Club and Interact; Greater Pittsburgh Soap Box Derby; Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport; McKeesport Lions Club; NAACP McKeesport Unit; White Oak Animal Safe Haven; Model A Club; the Kennywood Trolley and mascots from Kennywood Park, Eat’n Park, Dunkin Donuts, Duquesne Light, and Penn State Greater Allegheny.
Featured local businesses were Broadway Pizza, Nutall Public Safety, Penney Eye Care, Puzzlers Restaurant & Lounge, Tom Clark Chevrolet.
The parade was capped with a long line of public safety vehicles from McKeesport, Dravosburg, White Oak, Bethel Park, Clairton, Glassport, Liberty, North Versailles Township, Port Vue, West Mifflin and White Oak before Santa arrived atop McKeesport’s brand new engine.
After the parade, spectators gathered at the Palisades to enjoy a free lunch, watch the crowning of this year’s Salute to Santa princess and queen, and visit with Santa Claus.
This year’s parade royalty are princess Caleah Wright and queen Dalena Gebis – both McKeesport Area High School cheerleaders. Other members of the court were Natalie Makovics and Sianna Sullivan, representing Mary of Nazareth Catholic School; Shelby Harris, representing McKeesport cheerleaders; Kati Miller, representing the McKeesport Area Tiger Marching Band; Zoe Harrison, representing White Oak Athletic Association cheerleaders; and Charisma Ford and Amani Blakney, representing the NAACP McKeesport Unit.