Steubenville celebrates the season

RED RIDER PRIDE. The Weir High School marching band performed Saturday at the 2018 Eastern Gateway Sights and Sounds of Christmas: Nutcracker Magic Parade. The parade had 95 units, including four marching bands and fourteen floats. -- Mark Law

STEUBENVILLE — The Christmas spirit warmed the crowd during a cold 2018 Eastern Gateway Sights and Sounds of Christmas: Nutcracker Magic Parade on Saturday.

The parade lasted 90 minutes and featured 95 units, including four marching bands and fourteen floats.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together. Everyone loves a parade,” said Judy Bratten, executive director of Historic Fort Steuben and the Visitors Center, which organizes the parade each year.

“We had bands, dancers and nutcrackers. Who could ask for anything more? This is another example of the exciting things happening here. We saw all generations come together for the holiday season,” she said.

Bratten also noted many people then went to the nutcracker display at Historic Fort Steuben following the parade.

Steubenville Municipal Judge John Mascio, Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Michelle Miller and Molly McGovern of the Friendship Room were the judges for the parade.

“This will be harder than a felony sentencing,” Miller said.

“It is exciting to see the community, businesses and groups come out to support the parade,” McGovern said.

City Manager James Mavromatis said it was great to see so many people brave the cold to come downtown for the parade.

He said downtown Steubenville is coming back, with businesses opening along Fourth Street.

“We just have to think positive and look ahead,” he said.

City Mayor Jerry Barilla said he was thrilled to see the sidewalks of Fourth Street lined with thousands of people for the parade.

“It is a joyous day with crisp weather. Perfect for a Christmas parade. Everyone is happy. It is a good day for Steubenville

Tim and Denise Booth of Cincinnati came to the city on Friday to see the nutcrackers and then spent Saturday shopping in the stores on Fourth Street before taking in the parade.

The couple celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary on Saturday.

“We got in on Friday and went to the Nutcracker Village and walked around. Then we went and saw the Franciscan University of Steubenville. We walked and shopped on Saturday,” Tim Booth said.

“It is awesome. Everyone is so nice. It has been fun,” Denise Booth said.

The couple saw an advertisement about the Steubenville events, including the Nutcracker Village last year, but couldn’t make it to Steubenville. So they decided to make the four-hour drive this year.

They said they will bring friends with them next year

Landen Bailey, 7, of Richmond came to the parade with family. He said the candy is the best part of the parade. He also likes the firetrucks, but he was most excited to see Santa Claus.

Felicity Rawson of Mingo Junction said she likes to come to the parade to see the floats and the bands.

“I like seeing Santa, especially his beard,” she said.