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The 2022 Belsnickel Parade and Festival: A MAJOR success!

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

By: Dylan Bowman, HAHS Board Member

December 5, 2022

The annual Halifax Belsnickel Parade and Festival, which took place on December 3, was an astonishing hit this year. Drawing dozens of local viewers and participants, the parade was increased in scale nearly three times by the collective efforts of Historical Society Board members.

Among those in the parade were the Halifax Fire Department, Friends of Fort Halifax Park, a large number of locals who (through costumes) formed "The 12 Days of Christmas," Santa Claus (Reed Lebo), Krampus (Jim Reynolds) and the man of the hour...The Belsnickel (Dominic Mangle) himself. Historical society president, Ryan Bowman, later introduced the prospect of new costume contests and cash prizes for next year's festivities. The categories include:

- Best Historical Theme ($50 group/$30 individual)

- Most Festive ($50 group/$30 individual)

- Funniest ($50 group/$30 individual)

- GRAND PRIZE: Best Belsnickel/Santa Claus (single $60 prize for group or individual)

Festivities continued through the early afternoon including refreshments, a reading of the "Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas" by Chet Williamson for children, a short presentation on the history of The Belsnickel, Santa Claus and Krampus and a Christmas raffle. Though the day's weather was no winter wonderland, there was undoubtedly a spirit of Christmas in the air. With next year being the event's 20th anniversary, plans are already being made to make the tradition bigger and better than ever before. Mark your calendars for the first Saturday of December 2023...rain, snow or shine, we'll see you there.

And remember...the Belsnickel will be asking if you've been impish or admirable, so be ready!

Check out a video summary of the event here.

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