A Bridge to the Future...

Greater Afton Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc.  ·  PO Box 243, Afton NY 13730

Afton Chamber of Commerce at the 2013 Afton Christmas Parade

Early in November the Chamber contacted the Afton Christmas Parade Committee to ask what we could do for the parade.  We were told to enter a float.  We started looking for a pickup truck that could be decorated and a couple of people to ride in the back of the truck with Santa hats.At the November Board meeting, we not only found a pickup but a trailer thanks to Mario Ruttkiewicz, owner of MR construction. Elana Hulsey, the Board President and owner of Rainbows End Consignment shop, offered her garage as a place to “build” the float.   Despite Mario discovering that he and his wife had a conflict and could not attend the parade itself, work started on the float.

A team of volunteers met to finalize the float on Saturday morning before the parade.  Volunteers included, Phil Geary, Elana’s son and driver of the float in the parade, Ken Fischer – owner Fischer Printing, John Phelan – Echo Lake, Susan Muller – Melondy Hill Kennels and several others.  Mario designed and implemented a railing to protect anyone from falling off the float.  He also created a working electric fire place. The theme of “Twas The Night Before Christmas” began to be realized as a couch, Christmas tree, presents and working lamp appeared.  Lighted candy canes joined tinsel and other lights on the outside of the float. Thanks to our member TJ Signs for the great banners.

As the parade started, it became a real night before Christmas when members of the Twas the Night Before Christmas cast climbed onto the float in costume to hand out candy. A sound system was set up on the float by Steve Samsonik from Sun Shower Productions of Binghamton who was also providing the sound system for the play at the school. Thank you to the Afton Community Theater, a Chamber member, for making these arrangements.

John Payne, President of the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce was so impressed with our float, he ask the Greater Afton Chamber of Commerce to bring our float to the Bainbridge Christmas Parade next Saturday, December 14 at 6:00.  So come join your Chamber on Saturday.

I hear Mario and his float team are already planning our 2015 float and plan to also participate in the Sidney Christmas Parade..  Watch for updates on how you can help with the float next fall.  We will need lots of volunteers to make the 2015 float really sparkle.

Thanks again to Mario for chairing the Christmas Parade Float.  Check out the rest of the pictures on the Greater Afton Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

If anyone has any additional pictures please post them.  Also, if I missed anyone who helped in the float construction, please let me know so I can add your name.

Peg Squire
Chamber Treasurer

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