Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the other holiday elves atop floats and in procession may see a new direction for Hatboro during the borough's annual holiday parade.
Officials from the - the entity that has put on the parade for 36 of its 52 years - has requested that the Hatboro Borough Council allow the parade route to be reversed, heading southbound instead of northbound on York Road when Santa Claus and crew come to town on Nov. 18.
"It kind of disperses the flow of traffic downhill," Chamber volunteer Chris Dubil told the council Monday night, adding that the new route would be "much faster."
As proposed, the two-hour-long parade, which draws upwards of 50,000 spectators, would begin where it has previously ended, at Summit Avenue, Dubil said. The council took no action and is expected to consider the parade route change at its Sept. 24 meeting.
Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner said the Chamber's suggested route was the direction the parade traveled for many years.
"I don’t know why it was ever changed," Gardner said. "This is easier. It’s going downhill."
Gardner suggested putting up temporary "no parking" signs. He also said some type of access should be provided on North York Road for residents and emergency vehicles.
Councilman Bill Tompkins worried that reversing the direction might mean more congestion as less room is available in front of storefronts, as compared to the area near the and along Miller Meadow in the south end of town.
"You get more crammed as you get further up because you have the storefronts closer to the road," Tompkins said.
"I think if we do a good enough job of letting people know … they’ll settle into a spot," Dubil said. "I’m sure we’ll have our challenges, but we can work through it."
How you can help
Fundraising is ongoing for the Hatboro Holiday Parade. The Chamber is selling a at more than a dozen borough businesses.
Since the parade is funded solely through sponsorships and donations, Chamber Operations Manager Meredith Baker said sponsorships and donations are being sought to cover the $10,000 to $12,000 expense.
Volunteers are also being sought on parade day to assist in the staging area and along the parade route. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Baker at email@example.com or call the Chamber office at 215-956-9540.