PARKERSBURG - The annual Christmas parades in Vienna and Parkersburg will be Dec. 12, with Vienna's beginning at 11 a.m. on Grand Central Avenue and Parkersburg's beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Market Street.
Santa Claus is expected to participate in both Saturday parades, according to organizers. 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.
The Vienna Christmas Parade will begin lining up at 10 a.m. Dec. 12, said organizer Betty Carpenter. Units can begin lining up anytime after 9 a.m. along Grand Central Avenue from 47th Street north toward Central, she said.
The parade will go along Grand Central Avenue from 47th to 23rd streets. Carpenter said she is expecting about 100 total units to participate in the parade.
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 in Vienna.
Carpenter said a parade marshal is still being sought for this year's event.
In the other big event on that day, the annual Parkersburg Christmas Parade will be 2:30 p.m. Dec. 12 on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg.
This year's Vienna parade marshal is being sought.
The American Baptist Women's Ministry of the First Baptist Church of Parkersburg will be providing free hot chocolate, coffee and cookies at the church at Ninth and Market streets prior to the Parkersburg parade. The refreshments will be served beginning at 1 p.m. in front of the church.
Parkersburg parade organizer Lori Ullmann-Wright said the units will begin lining up for the parade in the Parkersburg High School back parking lot. The line-up is first-come, first in the lot and line-up areas. The parade crew will then pull the entries into the official parade line so the marching bands and emergency vehicles can be added where they are supposed to.
Semis, fire trucks and rescue vehicles will line up at 19th and Market streets, while Shrine units will line up on 20th Street.
Throwing of candy is prohibited this year, although parade units are encouraged to hand out candy, Ullman-Wright said.
Each entry will be given a number for identification purposes at the announcers stand and for the judges, but the number will not indicate how the entrants line up, she said. For groups with more than vehicle in its entry, the vehicles need to arrive at the back gate together so things will go more smoothly, Ullmann-Wright said.
The theme of this year's parade is "An Old Fashioned Christmas." Approximately 90 units are expected to participate in the afternoon parade, including marching bands, floats, walking units and others, she said. There will be awards for first, second and third places for floats in the commercial and non-commercial categories.
The parade marshal for Parkersburg is still being sought.
The registration fee is $25 per vehicle for commercial and political entries, $10 per vehicle for non-commercial entries, $15 for walking units with a vehicle and $5 for walking units without a vehicle. There is a group rate for motorcycle and car clubs of $5 per vehicle.
The deadline for parade registrations and entry fee is Dec. 7. Any entries received after that date will be subject an additional $10 fee.
In a change added during the 2008 Christmas Parade, Ullmann-Wright said parade organizers are asking all entries to bring at least one non-perishable or canned food item to help restock area food pantries. The items will be collected in the line-up area.
For more information about the Parkersburg Christmas Parade or to register units to participate, contact Clear Channel Radio at 304-295-6070.