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Weirton parade a ‘wonderland’ of Christmas spirit

MAKING A VISIT — The jolly, old elf himself, Santa Claus, helped to close out Saturday’s Weirton Christmas Parade, organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — Main Street was lit up and filled with holiday spirit Saturday, as the Weirton Christmas Parade made its way through the city’s downtown.

Organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, this year’s parade featured a theme of “Weirton Wonderland,” and included appearances from a variety of Christmas-time themes and characters, along with a fireworks finale.

“To me, this was like a good, old-fashioned Christmas parade,” chamber President Brenda Mull said. “I think that’s something we’re going to continue.”

The honorary grand marshal for this year’s parade was the late Nick Cosenza, who died in February 2020, and whose trucks have been used to pull many of the parade’s large, commercial floats for the last several years.

Nick’s Auto also served as one of the parade’s sponsors, along with West Virginia Northern Community College, Summer’s Enterprise and Best You Boutique.

Chambers and James Funeral Pet and Cremation Services were among the local businesses taking part in Saturday’s parade, with owner Eric Fithyan and his staff greeting area residents. -- Craig Howell

Support for this year’s fireworks display from Pyrotecnico was provided by Encompass Health, Hancock County Savings Bank, Nick’s Auto, First Choice America Federal Credit Union, Tomtreyco/McDonald’s, and Window World, with Summer’s Enterprise serving as the grand finale sponsor.

Mull offered her thanks to the sponsors, as well as the volunteers who assisted with crowd control, judging, lineup and other tasks, explaining the parade couldn’t have happened without their assistance.

There were close to 70 participants as part of the parade, with local dance groups and high school marching bands performing, festive floats from local businesses, representatives of local police and fire departments, the Army National Guard, Cub Scouts, Shriners, churches and more taking part, culminating with an appearance by Santa Claus.

“We had a unique variety of entries,” Mull said.

The community lined up along Main Street throughout the night, Mull noted, adding she and the chamber were happy to be able to offer the parade following a one-year absence as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Trinity Health System got into the holiday spirit, with this float featuring a train carrying several of the hospital’s employees and their families. -- Craig Howell

The parade also isn’t the only holiday event organized by the chamber.

A Christmas storefront decoration contest is under way, with businesses wishing to participate asked to have their locations decorated by Dec. 10. The winner will receive an overnight stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites and up to $250 off of a chamber membership for 2022.

In addition, “Illuminate Weirton” is returning, with luminaria currently on sale for $2.25 each. The chamber is asking all residents and businesses to place their luminaria outside the night of Dec. 18 to light up the community.

Those wishing to participate in the decoration contest, or to purchase luminaria, may do so by contacting the chamber at (304) 748-7212.

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