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Welcoming the Christmas season

Communities throughout the Tri-State Area will have a little extra sparkle during the next couple of weeks as parades help to celebrate the Christmas season.

Parades offer an opportunity for families and friends to gather and celebrate the season, while giving communities a chance to show off the good things they each have to offer. Floats, marching bands, dancing schools, homecoming queens and members of local service organizations will be joined by vehicles representing police and fire departments and other first responders.

The highlight of each parade is the arrival of Santa Claus, which keeps the spirit of the season for children of all ages.

Our region’s parade season gets under way at 4 p.m. Friday, with Wellsburg’s annual event. The theme this year is a Country Christmas, and the parade will feature local country music band Cross Creek.

Weirton’s annual parade, coordinated by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday and will follow its traditional route down Main Street. The annual fireworks display will help to welcome in the season at the conclusion. The theme of the parade is Weirton Wonderland.

On Sunday, the Christmas spirit will be on display along Main Street in Wintersville when the village holds its annual Christmas parade beginning at 3 p.m.

Fourth Street in Steubenville will come to life at noon Dec. 4 when the Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade gets under way. Trinity Health System is sponsoring this year’s grand marshals, longtime local businessman Richard Pflug and his wife, Heidi. Spectators will be invited to stay downtown after the parade and visit the Nutcracker Village and Advent Market and participate in numerous activities at Historic Fort Steuben.

Toronto’s annual Christmas parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Sponsored by Focus in Toronto, the parade will travel along Fourth Street.

Amsterdam will mark the season with a parade that starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 11, with New Cumberland’s Christmas parade also set for that day.

Many other communities in our region also will hold Christmas parades in the coming weeks.

A Christmas parade requires a year of planning and countless hours of work by volunteers, and cooperation from city officials at all levels.

We hope you’ll set aside some time to enjoy an area parade and share some holiday magic.

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