STEUBENVILLE - The Christmas season in the city kicks in as the Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade begins at noon Saturday downtown.
More than 90 units decorated with holiday trimmings will be marching down Fourth Street, from North Street to South Street, according to Judy Bratten, director of the Historic Fort Steuben, the Steubenville Visitors Center and parade co-organizer.
Since the parade falls on Pearl Harbor Day, the event will honor all the dedicated men and women who have served and are serving in the U.S. military. Members of AMVETS, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts 33 and 274 will be the grand marshals and lead off the parade on a special float headed by a color guard from the Adena American Legion. Other military units from around the area will be with a variety of vehicles and floats, according to Bratten.
READY FOR THE PARADE — Judy Bratten, left, director of the Historic Fort Steuben, the Steubenville Visitors Center and Christmas parade co-organizer, stands next to a cutout of Steubenville’s favorite son, Dean Martin, and Mary Snyder, visitors center executive assistant, as final preparations are made for the Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade, beginning at noon Saturday downtown. — Mark J. Miller
The Ohio Valley Harmonizers will perform aboard a float sponsored by the Herald-Star.
At least four area high school marching bands will participate, with performances by the Brenda Casey Dance Center, generations of Steppaz, Ohio Valley Dance and Twirlers, according to Bratten. A special appearance by old St. Nick himself will be part of the festivities.
"The parade will line up all along Fourth Street," said Bratten. "We will be asking residents and businesses to keep the street clear that morning so the various floats and vehicles will be able to get in line. We are grateful to the Jefferson Security, the Steubenville Lions Club and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors for volunteering assistance that day. City Mayor Domenick Mucci has graciously donated funds to have off-duty police officers on hand as well."
A special pre-parade program by Brenda Casey Dance Center will be performed at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Fourth and Market streets, said Bratten.
"Spectators are asked to stay on the sidewalks while parade elves give out candy and goodies along the route," she continued.
In addition to Eastern Gateway Community College, major sponsors of this year's parade include Trinity Health System, the Kessler Family, Fort Steuben Visitors Center and Cardinal Wealth Management, with additional support from Jefferson Security, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the Steubenville Lions Club, M&M Hardware, Mayor Domenick Mucci and Phi Theta Kappa fraternity at EGCC.