The Orange Holiday Festival has always been a highlight of the season. It’s a time when residents come together to celebrate as one, taking in the sights and sounds of the town center, appreciating the historical aspects that are all too often overlooked these days, by visiting the Stone-Otis House and Academy Building (Museum – old schoolhouse) and enjoying the local talent of former school Principal/Musician Al deCant at the library and the tremendous bell choir and singers at the Congregational Church.
It’s been a tradition for the Amity Chamber Singers to perform at the library, but this year they sang from the loft in the church and sounded wonderful, but few people knew in advance that they’d be there and kept checking the library for them.
One feature that was introduced last year, the brainchild of Denise Fantarella, the town’s farming background had its own showcase event with the tractor parade. Locals were more than happy to adorn their big and small tractors, golf carts, etc with lights, lighted plastic blow figures, inflatables, and garland.
They gathered at the fairgrounds and then drove up to the Town Green on Orange Center Road past the enthusiastic crowd.
Now in its second year, the parade was as popular as ever. Fantarella and David Eisenman organized the parade and attracted 26 participants with tractors – 12 of them pulling festively decorated wagon “floats.”
People lined the street well in advance, anxiously awaiting the first glimmer of light to appear in the distance. Fantarella’s son, Blue, led the procession. It seems that each passing display was more colorful and elaborate than the next.
Aside from the tree lighting and visits with Santa, I think the tractor parade may be one of the most treasured parts of the Orange Holiday Festival.
Here are some more photos from John Lott.