PARKERSBURG - Despite a day full of rain, the Christmas parades in Vienna and Parkersburg did not lack in the spirit of the season.
Cynthia Buskirk, organizer of the Vienna Christmas Parade, said Saturday's event may have lost a few participants, but organizers didn't consider canceling or postponing the parade. The planning and preparation for the parade had taken weeks of work, she said.
"It's just ducky," she said. "A lot people called me wanting to know if we were going to have the parade and I told them yes, rain or shine. They also wanted to know it they could throw candy, and we will allow them to throw candy.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Cornerstone Gospel Church placed in the non-commercial division in both Saturday holiday parades. They were third In Vienna and second in Parkersburg with their Happy Birthday Jesus float.
"Rain of shine, ducky or not, the parade will go on."
Buskirk said the bands in the parade were followed by their buses so they could get back on in the event of rain.
"The buses will stay with them, they have those expensive instruments you can't get wet," she said Saturday morning. "We don't want that to happen."
Buskirk said a number of floats in the parade took steps to add rain protection, while a few others did not come or scaled back their participation. Saturday's parade was short about 20 units, but the crowds along the route were good, she added.
"Most of them were in their cars so they could keep dry," she said.
Buskirk said the rain started and then stopped and then it rained again, so the committee decided to keep the parade on schedule Saturday morning.
Lori Ullmann-Wright, co-chairwoman of the Parkersburg Christmas Parade, said the on-again, off-again rain had affected the Parkersburg festivities as well.
"We had several not show up for the parade," she said. "It was a much smaller parade than we've had in the years I've assisted with them - the smallest I had ever lined up."
Ullmann-Wright said this year's parade theme, "Candy Land," was from one her students, Clayton Cottrille, a senior in the broadcasting program at Parkersburg South High School.
"I know the rain kept a lot of people away," she said. "But I'm glad for all those who made it through the rain. It did clear up a little bit."
Ullmann-Wright said the success of the Parkersburg event was due to the volunteers.
"They did a great job," she said. "We had many students from PHS and South who helped with the line-up."
Ullmann-Wright said the only way the parade would have been canceled would have been if the storm had lightning.
"If lightning was involved that would have made us cancel," she said. "So as long as there was no lightning, the parade was go."
Parkersburg resident Bev Cartwell thought the afternoon parade in downtown Parkersburg went well.
"There weren't too many gaps," she said. "It was a little better."
Deb Murphy, of Parkersburg, agreed the parade went well despite the weather.
"It's been fabulous," she said. "It's a shame the weather made it impossible for more to attend."