West Cape May Christmas Parade
Everyone loves a parade. When you hear a band, you just want to stand and cheer as they come.
And we particularly love the West Cape May Christmas Parade. The parade kicks off on Saturday, December 1st from the WCM Firehouse at 5pm, marches south on Broadway, east on Perry, and down Carpenter Lane into Cape May.
For 53 years, the West Cape May Christmas Parade has been an area institution. It’s the kickoff to the holiday season, and CMBC will be joining the festivities.
“Our theme this year is The Hoppy Express,” says Danielle Brasch, Tasting Room Supervisor and one of our parade committee members.
When discussing themes, the committee discussed which holiday films were among their favorites, and The Polar Express — the 2004 motion-capture film starring Tom Hanks in nearly every role and one of the most charming scores ever composed by the great Alan Silvestri — was one of everyone’s favorites.
“The Polar Express is a Christmas classic,” says Packaging Operator Tony Zappaunbulso, calling it one of his favorite films.
“The kids all wear all wear pajamas during the movie,” Brewtique Associate Emily Bowman said, “and Tony really loved the idea of wearing pajamas in public.”
We’re not sure why Tony loves wearing pajamas as much as he does, but his love for them around the brewery is well-established, having worn a onesie for his 2017 Halloween costume as one of Kathy Forler’s Cruella DeVille’s dalmatians.
“It brings out his inner child,” Danielle says.
Danielle and Emily are veterans of this initiative, having worked on the floats over the past few years.
“It was so much fun last year,” Danielle says. “It’s a great way to support our community, and it gets me in the Christmas spirit.”
“I did it a couple of years ago,” she says, “and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoy doing events at the brewery that bring the community together along with the Brew Crew. It’s something we can do together that’s a lot of fun, but it’s something we can do to bring the community together around the holiday season.”
“I love Christmas,” he says. “It was always a big holiday for me. Being Italian, the family was always focused around Christmas, doing the seven fishes. So it was big for me.”
(You’ll learn more about the seven fishes in an upcoming blog. Stay tuned!)
The parade is always a great time, with locals come out for it year after year it’s a delight for young and old alike.
“I love seeing the looks on the kids’ faces,” Danielle says. An elementary school teacher, Danielle’s students love seeing her in the parade.
“No, the adults!” says Design and Social Media Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg, herself a four-year veteran of CMBC’s involvement in the parade. “They love to see us in this thing.”
A lot of people enjoy our product at the parade. Year after year, they ask for free samples, only to be sadly disappointed. Sorry, fam, we can’t hand out cans of Devil’s Reach along the parade route.
However, we often see fans whose homes line the mile-long route enjoying a Cape May brew or two on their front porch as they watch the parade go by. Many of them host parade-watching parties, complete with their favorite Cape May beer.
The parade takes a while, as it frequently stops so that the numerous dance teams have a chance to show off their programs. This year, we’ve got a killer float placement, behind our good friend Matt Szczur.
“It puts the community into the Christmas spirit,” Emily says. “You get a little bit of the entire county and people outside the county — students, to breweries, to businesses. A bit of everything.”
“It ties us all together,” Danielle says. “It Ties the Room Together.”
(Danielle, you kill it, girl!)
It’s tradition, too.
“I’ve lived here my whole life,” Courtney says. “I went when I was little, I was in the marching band. Friends of ours used to own property along the route. We used to get there in the late afternoon and plug in crock pots and the adults would start making mixed drinks. It was always the same families and the same friends who went. You always knew on the day of the West Cape May Christmas Parade, that’s what you were doing.”
You won’t see everyone who helped out with our float in the parade on Saturday. Barbara Bur, Lauren Todd, Chuck Wray, Caitlyn Pohlig, and Danielle’s boyfriend Mike Buckley all helped but are unable to attend. (Thanks, guys!)
“It’s gon’ be lit,” Tony said.
See you there!