Preparations for the Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade to be held on Dec. 4th are underway in Steubenville.
“I’m so grateful to have it back,” exclaims Mary Snyder of the Steubenville Visitor Center. “Having to cancel it last year was so disappointing.”
Snyder and the other staff and volunteers are busy making the return of the parade a highlight of the holiday season in Steubenville.
“There will be over 70 units, including floats, vehicles, dance troupes and five bands,” Snyder added. “It won’t be televised this year, so we expect a bigger turnout along the streets to view the parade.”
The planning started back in September when the invitations to participate were sent out. Snyder collects the information on each unit and arranges the lineup so that each one can be best viewed. Days before, meetings are held to help the participants know where to get into the parade line and flyers are left at shops and residences along Fourth Street to be sure the street is clear of vehicles that morning.
Volunteers from the Lions Club, members of Amateur Radio Operators of TERA (Tri-county Emergency Radio Association), and Historic Fort Steuben will be on site at 8:30 am to close off the streets and put out the numbered cones indicating parade placement.
“The lineup starts at Ross Street and will go down to North Street,” said Jerry Barilla, President of Historic Fort Steuben and the Visitor Center and current Mayor of the city.
“The units arriving at 10:30 am in shifts until they are all ready to go when the parade actually starts at noon. Steubenville High School graciously opens its doors for the parade participants to use the restrooms and get warm while waiting for the event to start.”
Barilla is enthusiastic about this year’s parade. “A parade is an opportunity to bring everyone together for a positive experience. It’s the spirit of Christmas that can be seen and heard!”
Many of the familiar entries from past parades will be on Fourth Street that Saturday including the Osiris Tin Lizzies, the Boys Scouts, the Jefferson County Humane Society canines, and the City of Steubenville Fire trucks. New entries will come from Turn 3 Horse Training with horses, Friends of Beatty Park, and Eastern Construction & Excavating who promise to surprise everyone again with something special. A Firetruck Train will be added to Historic Fort Steuben’s entry this year. And once again, Santa will ride into town in a special Tanker Sleigh courtesy of Steel Valley Tanks.
“Our Grand Marshal will be Richard Pflug and his wife, Heidi. Richard was a long-time businessman in the city and a quiet donor to many organizations,” said Barilla. “Trinity Health System sponsored the beautiful horse-drawn carriage they will be riding in. And we are again grateful to Eastern Gateway Community College for being the title sponsor of the parade.”
Finally, Barilla encouraged everyone to head over to Fort Steuben Park where the Advent Market and many other activities will be occurring as he said, “It is THE most wonderful time of year!”