CHESTER - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Chester - or it soon will.
With Christmas just 65 days away, Chester Kiwanians have stepped up to take charge of organizing the Christmas parade, set for Dec. 4.
Chester City Clerk Sandi Parkins said the celebration will be called Hometown Christmas. Besides the parade, there will be a craft show at the American Legion.
"If children are good, Santa might even make an appearance," she said.
Parkins said volunteers are needed as well as parade entries. The Oak Glen High School marching band will participate, as will the city's fire and safety units, she said.
Councilman Brian Handley said he was happy to see the Kiwanis Club take charge of the parade.
"Thanks to the Kiwanis for doing something," he said. "I'd hate to see our little hometown Christmas go by the way side."
The city council gave the go-ahead this week for Mayor Ken Morris to pick out more Christmas banners for the light poles. He said the supply seems to be about 20 short.
The council also voted to allow citizen Stephanie Murray to spend $300 of the approximately $2,000 in the World's Largest Teapot maintenance budget to buy new Christmas lights for the teapot and the surrounding fence. Murray had asked the council at a previous meeting what was going to be done to decorate the teapot.
Murray said at that time she didn't know how much it would cost for new lights. She got estimates and requested the $300 at Monday's meeting.
Morris told Councilman Steve Shuman, who is also in charge of the street department, that the Hancock County Arts Council would like Chester and other towns between Chester and Weirton to have decorations up by Nov. 20, when the group is planning a tour of homes.
The Hancock County Arts Council, under the direction of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitor's Bureau, is planning the first-ever Holiday Tour, with stops at selected homes and churches from Chester to Weirton.
The Arts Council meets 6 p.m. today at the Mary H. Weir Public Library.
Parkins said any group or individuals who want to be in the parade or would like to volunteer in any capacity that day can call her at 304-387-2820 or David Nurmi at 304-387-2025.
(Tullis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)