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The Park Press

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Float on over to the Wheeling Christmas Parade

Float+on+over+to+the+Wheeling+Christmas+Parade

While the annual Wheeling Christmas Parade has had some technical difficulties with the downtown construction, the parade will continue as usual on November 17th. The parade will follow a new route along Market Street between 20th and 23rd streets, and from there, the parade will move south along Market Street through Centre Market.

Bill Bryson is the chamber’s parade chair and has been working on the parade committee for 38 years. He said that it was very challenging to reroute the entire parade and still make it accessible for people’s viewing.

“It was a little more challenging this year than it’s ever been.” He also says, “This was not our first choice, but it’s just going to have to work for this year.”

While this is a Christmas event, preparation for the parade starts way back in the summer. It’s a lot of hard work getting people, floats, companies, and sponsors to be in the parade. A lot of people that have been in the parade have been for years, while others are new to the mix. There seems to be upwards of 90 participants marching this year.

Many people at Wheeling Park attend the parade or are even in it.

“Honestly I really do like the band kids, so much. I like their performance and I love seeing them march.” Karma Hughes says.

“I was actually in the parade last year, I was on the FFA float. It was so fun, I want to do it again.” Adeline Schimnoski states.

“I’ve always loved the Grand Marshall, it’s always so interesting seeing for its going to be each year.” Heath Miller says.

The Grand Marshall always seems to be one of people’s favorites and this year it may leave some people very surprised. A Grand Marshall is a local celebrity that attends the parade.  This year it will be a former Pirate catcher, Michael McKenry. He will be on the Highlands Sports Complex float, so watch out for him.

The Wheeling Christmas Parade always seems to be a big hit during the holiday season, but with the messed up road and the freezing weather some people may not come down this year.

“I’m afraid there might be a smaller turn out this year. People are creatures of habit and they have their spots that they have been going to for years.” Bryson said.

On the bright side the whole thing is going to be televised so people can cuddle up and watch from the comfort of their own home. Be sure to stop by or turn on Channel 9 to see the parade on November 17th.

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