Christmas parades in Parkersburg, Vienna weather chill
PARKERSBURG — Despite weather better suited for the North Pole than the Mid-Ohio Valley, the annual Parkersburg and Vienna Christmas parades got residents in the holiday spirit Saturday.
In Parkersburg, coordinator Lori Ullman-Wright said there were 70 units in the parade, not counting EMS units, which brought the total to nearly 100.
“We had two notify us they would not participate in the parade due to the weather,” she said.
However she said the 2016 edition of the parade would have three first-time appearances.
“We have the Parkersburg Catholic High School band here for the first time and we are really excited about that. Kiger Insurance is here for the first time and the Y.M.C.A. and the Boys and Girls Club are working together on a teen activity. We are really excited about them.”
Ullman-Wright said the crowd did not seem to deterred by the cold blast Saturday afternoon.
“It seems to be about the same as it is every year,” she said.
Among those braving the cold were Amanda Stilgenbauer and Christine Stilgenbauer, both of Parkersburg, who said the parade was one of the best they had seen.
“I really enjoyed it,” Christine said.
Amanda said the children with them had different interests.
“One was watching the parade while the other was more interested in the candy,” she said.
“We thought it was great,” said Shawna Kelley
“I liked Santa the best,” said Lilly Kelley. “I liked it.”
In the Vienna parade the entry fee was 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. Since food could be dropped off before or after the parade, no figures were available but parade organizers thought the pantry would receive a lot of help.
Dave and Stacey Cunningham, of Waverly, have been coming to the Christmas parade in Vienna for several years, since their children were young. Trey, 12, and Diane, 10, both enjoyed coming out to Saturday’s parade to see everything and to collect candy.
“Everything,” Trey said of his favorite part of watching the parade.
“It’s just a family tradition,” Stacey said. “We come out to the Christmas parade every year. We have a lot of family and friends in the parade.”
After the parades, the second annual Downtown PKB Winterfest had a number of activities in store despite the below freezing temperatures in and around the Municipal Building in downtown Parkersburg..
Wendy Shriver, executive director of Downtown PKB, the organizing group, said Winterfest was a little lower in attendance this year, but that was to be expected to the arctic blast.
“Many were able to stay inside to do things like in the craft room, visiting Santa at City Hall or touring the museums or restaurants,” she said. “They warmed up after the parade, and now they are coming back.”
Shriver said those who braved the frigid weather seemed to be enjoying themselves.
“We added some food vendors this year and the carriage rides are doing quite well,” she said.
Kristina Jordan and her daughter, Cassie, braved the weather for the Winterfest event.
“We loved the carriage ride and just walking around seeing all there was to do,” she said. “We came down for it briefly last year. It’s pretty cool.”
Jordan said her daughter was a big fan of the fireworks last year, which also closed out this year’s event.
“She’s waiting on that,” she said.