Winterfest activities add to Saturday parades

From staff reports

The annual Christmas parades in Vienna and Parkersburg will be Saturday, with Vienna’s beginning at 11 a.m. on Grand Central Avenue and Parkersburg’s beginning at 2 p.m. on Market Street.

Downtown Parkersburg will also be full of activities from 4 to 7 p.m. for the annual Winterfest program.

Santa Claus is expected to participate in both holiday parades, according to organizers.

Following the afternoon parade, Downtown PKB will be holding its annual Winterfest program on Saturday evening in downtown Parkersburg.

At both events, organizers strongly urge parents to keep their children from running out into the street during the parade. The field of vision available for the drivers of many of the floats and large trucks is limited. Candy should be handed out, not thrown, organizers said.

The 2017 Holly Days Vienna Christmas Parade will be 11 a.m. Saturday along Grand Central Avenue from 47th to 23rd streets in Vienna. The parade will be held rain or shine.

Units can begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. along Grand Central Avenue from 47th Street north toward Central.

First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded for the best floats in commercial and non-commercial categories. About 80 units generally participate in the holiday parade, all of which must be decorated for Christmas.

The entry fee for participating in the Vienna parade is a donation of at least a case of canned food, which will be given to the Good Samaritan Pantry at Wayside United Methodist Church, at 3001 Grand Central Ave. The office is located on the 30th Street side. Items can be dropped off at the church before or after the parade and there will be a trailer at 47th Street and Grand Central Avenue on the day of the parade.

This year’s parade marshal will be Carl Tanner, with the Vienna Lions Club.

The annual Parkersburg Christmas Parade will be 2 p.m. Saturday on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg.

For the Parkersburg Christmas Parade, units will begin lining up in the Parkersburg High School back parking lot at 11 a.m.

Semis, fire trucks and rescue vehicles will line up at 19th and Market streets, while Shrine units will line up on 20th Street. All motorized units must be decorated, excluding antique cars.

In lieu of an entry fee this year, each unit shall donate at least 10 non-perishable food items, including canned goods. All supplies will be collected the day of the event and distributed to area food pantries for the holiday season. The unit that collects and donates the most will be recognized during Winterfest on Saturday evening. Units will be directed where to drop off donations at PHS on the day of the parade.

The theme of this year’s parade is “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” Awards will be presented for first through third place for floats adhering to the theme in commercial and non-commercial categories.

Parade co-chairman Lori Ullmann said this year’s parade marshals will be area first responders, especially those involved in battling the October warehouse fire in south Parkersburg.

The parade will be followed by Winterfest, from 4 to 7 p.m., organized by Downtown PKB. Several downtown businesses will be open, along with various downtown museums and attractions. There will be horse-drawn wagon rides, live entertainment at Bicentennial Park and the annual Christmas tree lighting and fireworks at the park and Parkersburg Municipal Building.

The schedule of activities includes

¯ 4-6 p.m.: Santa’s Workshop (kids craft station) at Judge Black Annex; Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides ($2 each) on the corner of Third and Market streets; Pictures with Santa at Municipal Building

¯ 4-6:15 p.m.: Christmas Music in Bicentennial Park

¯ 6:15 p.m.: Live Performance by Schrader Ballet

¯ 6:25 p.m.: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Zambelli Holiday Fireworks Show

¯ 7 p.m.: Community Concert at St. Francis Xavier Church