An event that is sure to get folks in the Christmas spirit-the Marietta Christmas Parade- will be held Saturday afternoon.
Parade coordinator Randy Wilson said the parade is being organized by ReStore Marietta, as it has been for the last few years.
"It's been held forever, It's a tradition in Marietta the Saturday after Thanksgiving," Wilson said. "Before it was ReStore it was MAMA (Marietta Area Merchants Association), so it's been organized by downtown merchants associations."
Wilson said as of Wednesday, about 52 units had signed up to participate in the parade, which is about the same number of units that have participated in years past. He said those who want to participate can call him at 525-4039 or sign up on the day of the event. The cost per unit is $30.
Wilson said those participating include the bands from Marietta and Williamstown high schools, Girl Scouts troops and several area churches, among others. He said the Autism Society of Southeastern Ohio and Open Door Baptist Church, of Marietta, are among the groups that will participate for the first time this year.
"And of course, Santa Claus will be there and he'll be at Muskingum Park after the parade if people want pictures with him, weather permitting," Wilson said.
Wilson noted that people must take photos with their own cameras at the park.
The parade marshals of this year's parade, Wilson said, are members of the late Bill Thompson's family. Thompson co-founded Bird Watcher's Digest. He died in January at the age of 78 of pneumonia.
"ReStore last year set a precedent that whoever the Gabe Zide Citizen of the Year is would be the parade marshal," Wilson said.
The award was presented posthumously to Thompson during the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce 96th annual dinner meeting in March.
"Really, (the parade) is honoring my husband Bill...and his service to the community and our family's involvement in all kinds of aspects of Marietta life in all the years we've been here," said Elsa Thompson.
She said she and several of her grandchildren, as well as her daughter, Laura Fulton, will participate in the parade.
The parade begins at 1 p.m. at Third and Ohio streets, then proceeds from Ohio Street to Second Street, Second to Greene streets, Greene to Front streets, Front to Putnam streets and Putnam to Second streets. It ends at Second and Butler streets.
"It's like a reunion downtown," Wilson said. "We've had good weather the last couple years, so that's really helpful."
If you go:
What: Marietta Christmas Parade.
When: 1 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Begins at Third and Ohio streets and ends at Second and Butler streets.
Contact Randy Wilson at 525-4039 to register to participate in the parade. The cost per unit is $30.