Parade brings holiday cheer to Wellsville

WELLSVILLE – Wellsville put on a festive display of pre-holiday cheer Saturday evening during the annual Christmas parade, which was combined with the fourth Village Light-Up Night this year, sponsored by the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The sirens and flashing lights from village police cruisers and fire engines announced the parade’s progress down Main Street to the Fourth Street Gazebo. Wellsville’s first responders were joined by their colleagues from Glenmoor and Liverpool Township volunteer fire departments, and Tri-County Ambulance and Lifeteam EMS, all of whom had vehicles in the lineup.

Hats, gloves, scarves and even blankets were the preferred fashion as the festivities began at 6 p.m., with temperatures hovering in the upper 20s.

Hundreds of village residents of all ages lined the parade route, with the younger spectators scrambling after candy thrown from passing parade vehicles and floats. In turn, local businesses, churches and civic groups competed for prizes in several categories, with Connie Bauer and J.C. Coulter judging the entries. The winners were Covenant Presbyterian Church, best theme; Wellsville High School, best marching unit; Nemenz Save-a-Lot, most original; and Liverpool Township Volunteer Fire Department, best fire/rescue.

Ed Bauer served as master of ceremonies for the occasion, with the Rev. Mark Blakeley of Wellsville First Christian Church delivering the invocation following a few words from village Mayor Susan Haugh. Songs of the season were furnished by members of the Garfield Elementary School Choir, under the direction of director Aaron Bunfill.

After the Christmas tree was illuminated, Dolly Brophey, chairwoman of the Memorial Bulb Committee, read from a list of the names of deceased loved ones, whose names were inscribed on a tag attached to each bulb on the tree. This year’s tree was donated by Bessie Carosiello in memory of her husband, the late Attilio “Telu” Carosiello.

As with any Christmas parade, the guest of honor was Santa Claus, who took his seat in the gazebo upon arrival. A long line formed on the sidewalk, as hopeful children and their parents waited patiently to share their wish lists with Santa.

One of them was 7-year-old Amiyah Powell, who says she asked Santa for an iPad and a guinea pig, preferably a female. “I want a girl,” she said. “I would call her Princess.”