The Thomas Chrysler Dodge Jeep Holidays on the Hilltop St. Clairsville Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade was a huge success. A tremendous crowd came out to help us kick of the holiday season in downtown St. Clairsville.
Pied Piper Nursery School, under the direction of Audrey Mellott; St. Clairsville Elementary 4th grade chorus, under the direction of Luana Palimetakis; and East Richland Christian Schools 1st 4th grades, under the direction of Jane Powell, started the evening off with Christmas carols. Then, Mrs. Claus led the countdown to light the city's Christmas tree. Following the tree lighting, our parade was ready to roll. This year's theme was Celebrate Hometown Blessings and complimenting that theme as the Grand Marshal was John Jenkins of Jenkins Sporting Goods. Then, a variety of fire trucks, floats, bands, dancing and marching units, horses, dogs, mascots, and of course, Santa Claus entertained our residents and visitors and helped us celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season.
A successful event such as this requires the dedicated effort of many people, and I would like to make an attempt to thank them all. If I inadvertently leave anyone out, please be assured that we do appreciate your help.
Thank you to our title sponsor Thomas Chrysler Dodge Jeep, as well as the other airtime sponsors Country Club Retirement Campus, Cumberland Pointe Care Center, Kacsmar & Company, Ohio University Eastern, Porterfields Drive Thru and Sayre Real Estate. The Belmont County Safety Council sponsored the appearances of the high school marching bands from St. Clairsville, Union Local, Cameron and Buckeye Trail.
Also, thanks to Brian Thomas and Chris Hendershot for setting up the broadcast and judging areas, among many other tasks. Scott Stephens (Blacksmith Recording) provided festive music before the event and broadcast the sound throughout the street so our visitors could hear what the television personalities were announcing, and Park Health sponsored the sound and AAA Ohio Auto Club sponsored the tree lighting programs.
Special thanks to the City of St. Clairsville, the Police, Recreation, Electric and Street Departments, for their tremendous efforts and time handling the parade route and helping prepare for the event. Mayor Vincenzo, Don Smithberger, Kathy Kaluger, Greg Cilles, Rich Smith, and Chief Martin Kendzora, we thank you and your staffs. Thanks also to Kevin Barr of the St. Clairsville Recreation Center, Superintendent Walt Skaggs of the St. Clairsville School District and the city of St. Clairsville for allowing us to use the Recreation Center, the High School parking lot area for lineup.
Organizing the entries in the line up area is a monumental task. We give a big thank you for a job well done in getting the parade started right on time, putting everyone in order, and keeping everything moving smoothly to names, Mandy Cracolici, Theresa Dodd, Rick Ferrell, Ashley Gordon, Anne Haning, Dean Holtsclaw, Carl Lehman, Janice Luginskie, Trish Mamula, Greg Ray, Brian Thomas, Wendy Thompson, John Vannest, Michael Young and Tom Zuzak.
Coordinating the parade requires lots of communication among the line-up crew and between them and the Chamber office. Thank you to Steve Mularcik of Progressive Communications for providing two-way radios so all the parade volunteers could communicate with each other. Thanks also to Tom Knight and Bridgeport Equipment and Tool for use of their lights so that the downtown area was bright.
Thanks to our parade judges Sue Douglass of Belmont County Department of Development, Martha McGranahan and Robert Thomas of Thomas Chrysler Dodge Jeep for their dedication and attention in judging all the parade category entries. Congratulations to the following parade category winners: Best Band, St. Clairsville High School; Best Mascot, Wheeling Nailers; Best Dance Unit, The Dance Factory; Best Float, St. C. Sweet Harmony; Best Decorated Vehicle, East Ohio Regional Transit Authority; Best Walking Unit, Moment in Time Photography.
Thanks to Santa's Helper, Joe Shutek, for getting Santa here for the parade and to Wayne Kirke for chauffeuring Santa in the parade! Also, thank you to Mrs. Claus (Charlene Moffo) and Amy Aspenwall for announcing the entries as they passes by.
During the festivities, the Fraternal Order of Police Associates collected toys and monetary donations to be distributed to Belmont County children.
A lot of effort goes into setup for the parade, supporting all the volunteers throughout the day, and cleaning up afterward. Boy Scouts Troops 59 and Property Maintenance Services, Inc. did a fantastic job cleaning up after the parade. Thanks also to Riesbeck Food Market for providing the trash receptacles.
Without the total commitment from Amy Aspenwall and Aleysa Hendershot in the Chamber Office, the planning and organizing of the parade would not have run so smoothly. Perhaps most importantly, a HUGE THANK YOU from everyone involved with this parade, to Brian Thomas, Thomas Chrysler, Dodge Jeep. Brian is an integral part of the parade preparations and his organizational skills contribute greatly to the success of the parade.
The St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce would like to offer a special thank you to WTRF for taping the parade to televise for the residents of the Ohio Valley. The parade will aired on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 4 to 5 p.m. on Fox Ohio Valley and on Sunday, Dec. 12 from 12 to 1 p.m. on ABC Ohio Valley.
And finally, thank you to all the workers, participants and spectators who helped make this parade a success!
St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce