Waiting For The Parade: Resident Asks For Return Of Holiday Parade

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Published: December 27, 2015 @ 4:00 PM EDT

“In following with the Christmas tree lighting,” said Jenn Jaskula during the public comment portion of the December 17th Mayor & Council meeting, “Something that we used to have in Roselle Park that the children [and] everybody really enjoyed was our Christmas and/or Holiday Parade. I’d like to propose that we bring it back and start to work January 1st to bring it back for December of 2016.”

I’d like to propose that we bring it back . . .

With that, Mrs. Jaskula threw the gauntlet down to return the borough’s tradition of having two major parades a year. Last year, after a five-year hiatus, Roselle Park’s Memorial Parade was brought back to a grand welcome from residents. Jenn expects the same fanfare for the Winter Holiday Parade, which was last done in 2009 and was discontinued due to budgetary constraints at the time as well as a supposed lack of parade participants.

Asking for a committee, Mrs. Jaskula simply but politely requested that council ‘make it work’.

“Fine with me,” responded Mayor Carl Hokanson, adding, “It would also have to be discussed at budget time also which will be starting very shortly; right after the first of the year.”

Jenn replied that is why she brought it up to see if funds could start being allocated towards the parade. In responding to a question from the dais as to what was the parade route, Mrs. Jaskula answered that it alternated with one year starting at Sherman School and the other year starting at the Church of the Assumption. Both routes would end up on Chestnut Street with a pass by a reviewing stand in front of Michael Mauri Park. She recounted how various organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as well as the Roselle Park Marching Band performed while the PTA and other groups had floats. She stated, “It made for a real good community event and brought the community together. It’s kind of been missing.”

First Ward Councilman Eugene Meola asked when the parade usually occurred, specifically if it was on a weekend. He was told it was usually the first Saturday in December. He added, “That’s wonderful, wonderful idea.”

“I was in Nutley for theirs,” concluded Jenn, “And it was amazing to watch how much of the town came out and the kids enjoy Santa coming in. It’s just a good way to start the  whole season.”

Councilman Meola was left smiling at the proposal and suggested to Mrs. Jaskula, “Don’t go anywhere. Come to a budget meeting and suggest that.”

Budget meeting workshops are when expenses for such events are discussed and voted on. These workshops usually start in February and the public is welcomed to attend and participate by providing input and suggestions.

Below is a video of Roselle Park’s 2008 Holiday Parade.