Parked my bike at the rack in the parking lot behind the Senior Center, then went across the street to WaWa for a hot drink. They of course had lines down the narrow aisles. Tried GrooveGround Coffee across the street, but they were even worse in a smaller space. I ultimately returned to WaWa and bought a peppermint cappuccino that tasted mostly of sugar and mint. Took out money to buy a soft pretzel from the Collingwood High wrestling team, who sell them out of carts before the parade.
Found a place to watch the show on the corner of Haddon and Collings Avenues, about a block from where I parked my bike. The parade is wildly popular, especially with local families. They were packed two and three deep, with parents and kids wrapped in blankets on lawn chairs or the curb. Kids ran around and convinced their parents to buy cotton candy, plastic trumpets, or foam Minecraft swords from men who pushed carts filled with souvenirs up and down Haddon.
The Collingswood Parade didn't seem as long or big as normal, but there were quite a few highlights. Three elementary schools combined to honor the Phillies making it to the World Series. Four local dance schools strutted their stuff, including Ovations from the other side of Oaklyn and an Irish step school that performed a lively jig. Mummers also strutted as they played their Dixieland banjo tunes in glittering spangles and feathers. My favorite float had an underwater theme, with colorful fish on sticks surrounding a tree festooned with translucent mylar "seaweed" strands and a Nemo topper. Camden High School had the most fun of the marching bands, with their high-stepping drummers. Classic cars and sports cars decorated with stuffed animals or tinsel garland sped by the delighted families. An elf and tin soldier on stilts gave kids high-fives and juggled for the crowds. Girl Scouts crowded in a gingerbread house float covered in paper "candy." People in costume waves to the kids in the crowd.
I spotted Raggedy Ann and Andy, the Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, Frosty and Crystal, Rudolph, a Christmas tree and penguin who didn't look happy to be there, and at least two versions of The Grinch. Four local string bands played sprightly tunes. One accompanied Santa's arrival, along with one of the trucks that shot artificial "snow" into the air.
Moved along to Westmont after the parade, dodging a ton of traffic going out of town. I hadn't gotten around to checking them out on my last excursion down Haddon Avenue. Got there at 11:30, which proved to be a little early. Rode around, then bought a donut from McMillan's Bakery before I saw Samaritan Thrift was open. They were busy too, but I was able to pick up mitten-themed wrapping paper, four cards for Mom, Lauren, her parents, and Amanda, a bag for a gift, and the CD A Colonial Christmas.
Phildelity Records opened across the street as I got out. They were almost as busy, but I did very well there, too. In addition to The Shop Around the Corner on DVD, I ended up with:
The soundtrack for Say One for Me and a double soundtrack for An American In Paris and the 1951 Show Boat
The Broadway original cast album for Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music
Turned on Christmas
Made my way down Haddon Avenue to Target next. Wanted to finish out my Christmas shopping, or at least get closer. I picked up a gift card for Amanda, soft ornaments for Amanda and Lauren to replace the ones I broke two weeks ago, a food gift for Amanda, and apples and a Diet Pepsi for me. They also had long lines, but for once, there were plenty of cash registers open. I got in and out.
Had lunch once I got home. Watched The Nutcracker: A Fantasy On Ice while I ate, then took down the Thanksgiving and fall decorations and put up some of what I have for winter. Dorothy Hamill skates with Nutcracker Prince Robin Cousins as Lorne Greene narrates the story of Clara and her beloved toys. This used to run a lot on HBO during the holiday season in the early-mid 80's. My sisters and I loved it. It was my first Nutcracker, long before I knew it was a ballet.
Went into writing my Nutcracker story after I finished putting everything away. Brett points out the story's similarity to "Beauty and the Beast," which leads to a round of "beast" jokes. Debralee ignores them, wondering if her nutcracker really is a prince...and almost wishing he was...
Broke for dinner at 7. Ate while finishing out the night with Doctor Dolittle on Amazon Prime. I go further into the troubled Rex Harrison version of the animal-loving veterinarian and his many fantastic adventures at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.