The holiday spirit will be shining bright Saturday in downtown Steubenville when the city's annual Christmas parade works its way down Fourth Street.
Organizers have been working hard for several months now to make sure this year's event, which is presented by Eastern Gateway Community College, is the biggest holiday parade in recent memory. Sponsored by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the Steubenville Visitors Center and WTOV-TV, the event will feature more than 90 units.
Leading the parade, scheduled for a noon start, will be Steubenville native and Catholic Central High School graduate Rich Donnelly, who has been chosen as the grand marshal.
Among the many jobs he has had in a career in professional baseball that has spanned more than 40 years, is a stint as a coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The committee behind this year's parade, which carries the theme of the?"Sights and Sounds of Christmas," has been working hard to help revitalize an annual event that had lost some of its luster.
It appears they have done that, with marching bands from many area high schools, floats provided by numerous civic organizations and businesses and costumed characters scheduled to make the journey south from North Street to Adams Street. Of course, the highlight of the parade will be the arrival of Santa Claus.
It's an event designed to draw residents from across the Tri-State Area to Steubenville. For those who are out-of-town or not able to travel, the parade will be telecast on WTOV-TV and streamed live at wtov9.com.
Those who attend the parade also will be able to see the renovation that already has taken place at the Grand Theater at 121 S. Fourth St. The lobby at the theater will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors will be able to see the restoration work that already has been accomplished. For a fee, visitors also will be able to see the main floor and stage areas of the historic structure, with proceeds helping the Grand Theater Restoration Project.
While Steubenville's parade is scheduled for noon, a parade that starts at 6 p.m. will wind through the villages of Rayland, Tiltonsville and Yorkville, with a community gathering to immediately follow at the Warren Township Park.
We hope you'll allow your holiday spirit and community pride to show this weekend, and we'll see you downtown.