CHESTER - Visitors to Chester's downtown Saturday for the 25th Hometown Christmas Celebration are asked to participate in the season's spirit of giving by bringing along non-perishable food items.
Sandi Parkins, Chester city clerk, said members of the congregation of the First United Methodist Church will be collecting the food donations along the parade route. The donations are for the Chester-Newell FISH pantry.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m. with lineup at 1 p.m. at Third Street and Virginia Avenue. Parkins said any parade participants are to pre-register, and may call Stephanie Murray at 304-224-5688 for a registration form.
Pictures With Santa will take place in the Council Chambers of City Hall, sponsored by Chester-Newell 7-Eleven stores.
Other events are a chili cook-off at the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, and craft shows at the American Legion and the Lynn Murray Memorial Library. Vendors will be set up outside along Carolina Avenue. Anyone wishing to set up along Carolina Avenue may call Parkins at 304-387-2820.
Besides meeting Santa, there will be other events for children, including children's crafts. Posters on display in many of the downtown businesses list the schedule of events for the day.
Winners of the decorating contest among downtown businesses will be announced.
On Dec. 2, the evening before the parade, there will be a Light-Up Night, beginning at 6 p.m. The Chester Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring the city's Christmas Tree. The Oak Glen High School Choir will be singing carols. Hot chocolate will be provided by the Chester Lions Club.