Parade sees clears skies, 125 entries

PARKERSBURG – Everyone loved a parade Saturday during the 2014 Parkersburg Homecoming Parade.

With sunny weather and clear skies, many people came out to watch the assortment of marchers, organizations and others participate in the annual event.

There were a total of 125 entries who participated in the parade Saturday at noon along Market Street in Parkersburg as thousands of area residents lined the street to watch.

With a variety of floats, marching bands, dance teams and twirlers, fire and police departments, politicians, clowns, Shriners, gymnasts, cheerleaders and every other manner of group and organization, the parade was a chance for the community to show what it has to offer and the people who are active in these organizations, organizers said.

Lori Ullmann-Wright, parade co-chairman, said it is always something to have people lined up along Market Street to cheer on the runners in the Half Marathon. People were patient as the runners finished up and the racemarkers were taken down to make way for the parade.

“Everyone was cooperative,” Ullmann-Wright said. “The weather was good and we saw very few challenges.”

Organizers did have to deal with some other events going on at Parkersburg High School where the parade was lining up.

“There are always challenges, but everyone understood that there were other things going on,” Ullmann-Wright said. “Everyone was happy that we had no liquid sunshine.”

The theme of this year’s Homecoming parade was “A Gem Along the River.”

Ullmann-Wright said many groups interpreted that theme in a variety of ways – utilizing rafts, showcasing senior citizens, showing people involved in youth activities and more.

“The only thing we were missing was a representation of a baseball diamond,” she said of the possible connection between diamonds and gems.

Ullmann-Wright said she got a chance to walk through the crowds during the parade.

“Everyone was really positive,” she said. “We started on time with no real delay.”

Troy Poling, of Parkersburg, came to the parade with his family as it was an event they could all enjoy together.

“We just enjoy being out in the crowd, enjoying the floats and all the equipment from around the area,” He said. “We also like the bands.”

Rex Carson, of Morgantown, came with his girlfriend who was in town visiting family.

“We thought we would come down and watch it,” he said.

Carson particularly likes the marching bands.

“The kids work so hard and it shows,” he said.

Ullmann-Wright said one of the highlights of this year’s parade was the alumni of the Parkersburg High School Big Red Marching Band coming back for the band’s 90th anniversary celebration and having Charles Mitchell, 98, the oldest living alumni of the Big Red Band, leading the alumni.

“Having him lead the alumni was very special for everybody,” she said.

The float winners of this year’s parade were:

Commercial winners

* First: Wyngate Senior Living Center

* Second: Jan Dils Attorney Law Walk for Vets

* Third: Earthworks Green Care Inc.

Non-Commercial

* First: Sunrise Baptist Church

* Second: Mineral Wells Football and Cheer

* Third: Parkersburg High School Big Red Band Alumni

Honorable Mention

* Driving for Bella

* Mickey and Minnie by Mr. and Mrs. Logston