Christmas parade season arrives

If the first local Christmas parade of the season isn’t enough to draw some folks to downtown Marietta Saturday, Main Street Marietta director Jean G. Farmer has a couple more enticements.

“It’s also Small Business Saturday,” she said. “It’s a national event where everyone is encouraged to … shop small” and local in the wake of Black Friday, which tends to focus on big box stores.

Parade-goers can also get into the holiday spirit by giving – specifically donations of canned goods to the Marietta Community Food Pantry.

“Bring your cans, set them on the sidewalk, and someone from the Marietta food pantry will come by and pick them up,” Farmer said.

“This town is just so full of volunteers and people that want to help. This time of year just brings it out,” she said. “So let’s celebrate it.”

About 30 units have registered for the parade, and Farmer said there’s room for more.

“They can make a float, they can put their truck in there. Any organization that’s interested. It’s an all-inclusive parade,” she said.

So far, the Marietta High School Wall of Sound is the only band slated to march in the parade, but Farmer said others are welcome.

Cost of registration is $30. The parade starts forming at 11 a.m. behind Food 4 Less, with participants lining up mostly in the order they arrive, said Ryan Smith, parade organizer. The parade starts at 1 p.m. at Second and Ohio streets, traveling onto Greene Street, then Front Street and on to Putnam and Second streets, finishing up in the 200 block of Butler Street.

Santa Claus will bring up the rear of the parade, riding in a carriage with Mrs. Claus. But he won’t return to the North Pole immediately – he’s heading over to Cheeseman’s Bait Shop on Maple Street in Historic Harmar Village.

Jolly Old St. Nick will be there for an hour or so for children to come by and share their gift requests with him. Focus Photography will be on hand to take pictures that parents can purchase.

Cheeseman’s owner Kim Flowers said the idea to keep the festivities going in Harmar came from her uncle, Rick Powers, a Main Street Marietta member.

“He’s trying to get more people and more business over to Harmar Village,” she said.