A number of holiday parades and events will kick off the weekend after Thanksgiving, including parades and holiday light displays.
The Marietta and Belpre holiday parades will be this weekend, while the Vienna and Parkersburg parades are scheduled for the second weekend of December, at 11 a.m. in Vienna on Grand Central Avenue and at 2 p.m. in Parkersburg on Market Street on Dec. 11.
The Marietta Christmas Parade will be 1 p.m. Saturday in downtown Marietta, with the parade route running along Ohio Street, Second Street, Greene Street, Front Street, Putnam Street, Second Street and Butler Street. Santa Claus will be in a fire truck at the end of the parade.
For the first time this year, Marietta parade participants can compete for ribbons for "Best of" in various categories along with a trophy for grand champion. For information, contact ReStore Marietta at (740) 885-8194.
The Belpre Holiday Lights Parade, co-sponsored and organized by the Belpre Lions Club, will be 6 p.m. Saturday on Washington Boulevard in Belpre.
Parade applications are available at Ohio Valley Press and Belpre Chamber of Commerce. The parade will form at Belpre High School at 5 p.m. and moves at 6 p.m.
Prior to the parade, the Belpre Holiday Lights Festival will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday with the displays illuminating the city with holiday spirit between 6 and 11 p.m. every night through Jan. 2.
The Saturday parade in Belpre will include floats, walking groups, carolers and horses and riders from individuals and groups throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley. All participants in the parade are required to be illuminated with Christmas lights and reflect the holiday spirit, said Lights committee member Nancy Sams.
"The parade is for the enjoyment of the community and is a night-time lights parade," Sams said.
Continuing with tradition, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on the last float in the parade and will greet children at the bandstand gazebo in Civitan Park immediately following the parade courtesy for the Belpre Woman's Club. Because of the evening darkness and for the safety of all involved, the parade committee asks that all candy be handed out, not thrown to the audience, Sams warned.
Elsewhere in the Mid-Ohio Valley, Ravenswood's third annual "Christmas in the Park" program will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at Riverfront Park in Ravenswood with lights and animation.
The program will feature dozens of light displays for the holiday season. All the displays are donated and volunteers, mostly senior citizens, have the job of taking the displays out of storage and setting them up.
Riverfront Park is located south of Ravenswood on West Virginia 68. The lights will remain on each evening from 6 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1.
In Harrisville, the annual Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department Night Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 on Main Street in Harrisville.
Following the parade, there will be a visit from Santa Claus for a free photo and refreshments and displays of the town Christmas tree and park holiday light display. For more information, contact Ronnie Six at 304-643-2523.
The Beverly-Waterford Christmas parade will be 5:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by a lighting ceremony at Dodge Park in Beverly.
The parade will form at 4:30 p.m. at Waterford High School and proceed along Main Street in Waterford to Ohio 339 to Main Street (Ohio 60) in Beverly. The Dodge Park lighting ceremony will include seasonal entertainment and free refreshments.
During the parade, members of Dungannon United Methodist Church will collect dry goods and canned goods on the parade route to Beverly-Waterford Food Pantry.