PARKERSBURG - Local communities will kick off the holiday season with lighting ceremonies and other activities in the coming week.
Three holiday parades are occurring this weekend in Washington County, with Belpre and Marietta today and Beverly-Waterford on Sunday.
* In Marietta, the annual Marietta Christmas Parade will be 1 p.m. today in downtown Marietta, with the parade route running along Ohio Street, Second Street, Greene Street, Front Street, Putnam Street, Second Street and Butler Street. Santa Claus will be in a fire truck at the end of the parade.
The annual Parkersburg High School Lighting Ceremony will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday at the high school. Several community lighting events are planned through next week, from Monday through Friday.
* The Belpre Holiday Lights Parade, co-sponsored and organized by the Belpre Lions Club, will be 6 p.m. today on Washington Boulevard in Belpre, from Belpre High School to Howes Grove Park.
The Belpre parade will include floats, walking groups, carolers and horses and riders from individuals and groups throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley. All participants in the parade are required to be illuminated with Christmas lights and reflect the holiday spirit.
As in past years, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on the last float in the parade - escorted by the Pioneer Antique Power Association - and will greet children at the bandstand gazebo in Civitan Park immediately following the parade courtesy for the Belpre Woman's Club.
* On Sunday, the annual Beverly-Waterford Christmas Parade and Dodge Park Lighting Ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Beverly and Waterford.
The parade will form at Waterford High School parking lot at 4:30 p.m. and the parade begins at 5:30 p.m. The route will follow Main Street in Waterford to Ohio 339 to Ohio 60 in Beverly, ending at Dodge Park. The park lighting ceremony will be held immediately after the parade, with seasonal entertainment and free refreshments.
* On Monday, Parkersburg South High School will hold its annual Christmas Lights ceremony at 6 p.m. with seasonal music.
* Parkersburg High School will hold its annual Christmas lighting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The event, which generally draws hundreds of students and community members, will feature holiday music by student groups and a visit from Santa Claus.
* Also on Tuesday, the city of Viennna will hold its annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the Vienna Community Building in Jackson Memorial Park.
Over 50 lights displays will be on display throughout Jackson Park and the city of Vienna through the holiday season, including a newly built 26-feet-tall Christmas tree for the city.
* In Williamstown, the city of Williamstown will host its Christmas tree lighting event at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in front of the city building on West Fifth Street, across the street from Tomlinson Park. The event will include refreshments and seasonal music.
* The city of Parkersburg will hold its annual holiday Christmas Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. Friday at Bicentennial Park on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg, next to the Parkersburg Municipal Building.
There will be seasonal music and refreshments. Following the ceremony, the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board and the City of Parkersburg will sponsor a family-friendly bike ride from Bicentennial Park to City Park. Lights are required on all bicycles.
* In Barlow, the Scenic Hills Barlow Area Christmas parade will be held 5 p.m. Dec. 7. The parade lineup begins at 4 p.m. at Barlow Vincent Elementary School.
* The Vienna and Parkersburg Christmas parades will be on Dec. 14 in the two cities. The Vienna Christmas Parade will be held 11 a.m. on Grand Central Avenue in Vienna. The Parkersburg Christmas Parade will be held 1:30 p.m. on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg.