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The magic of Christmas continues

The magic of the Christmas season will continue throughout the region this weekend.

Thousands of residents of the Tri-State Area and beyond already have visited the Nutcracker Village along Fourth and Market streets in Steubenville as well as the Advent Market and other attractions that are part of Christmas at Historic Fort Steuben. Many hundreds more are expected to line line Fourth Street in Steubenville Saturday for the Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade.

Eastern Gateway Community College is the title sponsor for the parade, which will feature area marching bands and cheerleaders, dance groups, homecoming queens, colorful floats sponsored by community organizations and local businesses and, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

Longtime local businessman Richard Pflug and his wife, Heidi, have been named grand marshals for the event, which will begin at noon at the intersection of North and Fourth streets and travel south along Fourth Street. Trinity Health System is the sponsor of the grand marshals.

Those who attend the parade will have the chance to make the short walk to the fort and enjoy the activities there, or stroll the city streets looking at the nutcrackers. Visitors will be able to shop in the market and enjoy hayrides, a trip through downtown in the Holly Trolley and other activities.

The market will continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Christmas, and the nutcrackers will remain on display through Jan. 8. It’s all a continuation of holiday-related activities that started on Nov. 23 with Steubenville Lights Up the Night.

Steubenville is not the only community that will be holding a Christmas parade this weekend. Chester’s parade is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, while volunteers with Focus in Toronto have been working hard to plan this year’s parade in the Gem City, which will start at 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Fourth and Myers streets and travel along Fourth Street to Main Street.

Saturday’s parades will come to a close at 6 p.m., when Cadiz welcomes the holiday season with its annual lighted parade. And, on Dec. 11, New Cumberland will hold its parade, and Amsterdam will usher in the season with its parade at 6 p.m.

Follansbee, meanwhile, will hold its Christmas light-up event at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ray Stoaks Plaza outside of the City Building. It’s part of a series of family-friendly activities that will begin at 3 p.m.

Parades — and the many other activities planned in communities throughout the region — help bring the Christmas spirit to life. We hope you’ll participate in spreading that special feeling that comes with the holidays.

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