PARKERSBURG - The city of Parkersburg's annual Christmas Parade will be held at night this year.
The official announcement was made Monday morning by officials from Clear Channel Radio and the Wood County Technical Center Broadcast Program, which are working as coordinators for the event.
John Chalfant, program director for Clear Channel Radio and co-director of the Christmas parade, said the parade will be held Dec. 9 with lineup beginning at PHS at 4:30 p.m. and the parade on Market Street beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Photo by Michael Erb
Parkersburg fire Chief Eric Taylor, left, Wood County Technical Center Broadcast Program instructor Lori Ullman-Wright, center, and John Chalfant, right, program director for Clear Channel Radio, along with Parkersburg police Chief Joe Martin, announced Monday Parkersburg’s annual Christmas parade would be held at night.
"It's something new that we are trying this year to try to give a special look to the Christmas parade," he said. "We thought it would be neat to try."
Lori Ullman-Wright, class instructor for the broadcast program at the technical center and co-director of the Christmas parade, said broadcast program students will help organize the parade lineup as well as document its progress as part of a community service project.
"They will be assisting with lineup for this parade. This is our third year doing this," she said. "We think it's very important for them to be involved with their community as junior reporters."
A Quick Look at the Event
Officials announced that Parkersburg's annual Christmas parade would be held at night this year.
The broadcast program at Wood County Technical Center is helping to coordinate the Dec. 9 parade as a community service project.
The parade lineup begins at PHS at 4:30 p.m. and the parade on Market Street begins at 6:30 p.m.
"This event will now culminate with the lighting of the tree outside of the city building at the end of the parade," she said. Ullman-Wright said the event will allow Santa and Mrs. Claus to come off of their float and mingle with the crowd during the lighting ceremony.
The time change brings with it some additional changes to the parade rules. For example, floats will no longer be allowed to throw candy to those along the route.
"For safety reasons there will be no candy thrown during the parade," Ullman-Wright said."
Each float must be lit in some fashion, or every person on the float or walking alongside must be carrying a personal light source, she said.
Ullman-Wright said the lighting requirement fits with this year's float theme of "All Things Bright and Beautiful." Floats will still be judged and awarded prizes at the end of the parade.
"The lights should be beautiful coming down Market Street with all those lights bouncing off the buildings," she said.
Parkersburg police Chief Joe Martin said on the safety and enforcement side of things, there will be no changes for the parade.
Parkersburg fire Chief Eric Taylor said emergency vehicles within the parade will be asked to not sound their sirens or run emergency lights, both to keep the noise and distractions down, and also in case vehicles are needed along the parade route for an actual emergency.
"If we hear sirens coming through we know and law enforcement knows we need to clear that area and make a spot for them to get through," said Ullman-Wright.
Officials said they are unsure whether the nighttime parade will become a tradition for Parkersburg.
"We're kind of anxious to see what happens this year," Chalfant said.
"This is kind of an experiment for us," Ullman-Wright said.
Chalfant said parade registration forms will be sent out to previous parade participants in the coming weeks. For more information or to register, contact Clear Channel Radio at 1-304-295-6070.