New Martinsville Kicks off the Holiday Season in Style
Every year on the first Saturday in December, New Martinsville holds its annual Christmas Parade Downtown on Main Street. It’s been the tradition for many years as a festive mood takes over, and store fronts display an atmosphere right out of a Charles Dickens book.
People from the area come early and stay late to enjoy the official start of the Holiday season as we know it in small town America.
On Saturday, you could see children and adults walking in the downtown area, starting around 11 a.m. Several businesses were giving treats to the kids, the Acts Mission Church was busy in the front yard handing out food and other gifts. There was plenty of activity as horse drawn wagons and carriages carried people up and down the streets. It was a great start to a great day, leading up to the evening drive thru parade.
While we have come to expect the likes of high school bands marching, fire trucks decorated, with Santa Claus tossing candy to the children, celebrities and dignitaries riding on floats, and all the other participants that make a great parade, this year took on a different look. Trying their best to give the community a safe alternative to the annual parade, organizers came up with a drive thru event.
Business owners and homeowners in the downtown area decorated their properties, while other organizations set up stations along the way to hand out wrapped candy and coupons for parade goers driving by. A one way route was set up that allowed vehicles to get in line one by one and travel the entire one mile route.
If you have ever been to Oglebays festival of lights in Wheeling, you would understand the meaning of a drive thru event. While it took nearly one hour to travel the route due to the hundreds of people patiently waiting their turn to drive through downtown, it was well worth the ride.
With perfect weather helping make the event a success, nothing was better than hearing the sound of “Merry Christmas” echo through the air while driving with the windows down to get a good look at the decorations and listen to the Price family musicians playing on the Lincoln theater steps. A glimpse of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus was also a highlight of the evening.
While it may not have been what we have come to expect, it certainly brought out a huge crowd anxious to kick off the season in style. A big thank you to all who helped make it a special night.