IT IS still September but the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce was in the holiday mode at Thursday's well-attended monthly luncheon meeting.
The thrust of the session was the village's annual Christmas parade. It will be staged Saturday, Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. The theme -- after much discussion -- was dubbed "All Aboard for Christmas!"
The parade marshals were chosen in conjunction with the festive railroad theme. All the board members for the Great Stone Bridge Viaduct Committee will be cast in the roles of parade marshals. The viaduct panel staged an inaugural celebration in August, which will likely spawn an annual event.
The Stone Bridge and railroads are synonymous with Bellaire, so the Christmas theme and honorees are sensible choices.
In another Yule-related item, Chamber President Lou Ann Bennett said the LED light replacement for Christmas decorations is going well. The chamber will also likely put a float in this year's parade.
SWITCHING HOLIDAYS, Bennett updated the crowd on one of the village's most popular events: Boo In The Park. The pre-Halloween event has mushroomed into a mega extravaganza. Held in the village's historic park, 600 are treated to a myriad of entertainment and treats.
The Oct. 23 event runs from 6-8 p.m. and will feature a magic show, puppets, hay ride, movies, candy and more. It is open to children 12 and under who live in Bellaire or go to school in The All-American Town. A form must be filled out in advance and can be secured at the mayor's office or water office.
I was on photo duty at last year's Boo In The Park and it really is a festive and worthwhile event for our youths.
IN OTHER chamber matters, a ribbon-cutting will be held Wednesday at noon for the chamber's new headquarters on Belmont Street. Bennett also noted the chamber now has 104 members.
The chamber will also be staging a "Meet the Candidates Night" sometime in mid-October in the basement of the Bellaire Library.
THE MARTINS Chamber of Commerce held its luncheon meeting Tuesday at the recreation center. The chamber is holding "A Night at the Races' on
Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Hilltop social hall. Doors open at 5 p.m., racing commences at 6:30 p.m. Race sponsorships cost $65 while $10 buys you a horse. Tickets are $15 which includes hors d'oeuvres and soft drink. BYOB and beer. A 50/50 drawing and silent auction are also planned. For more information, call 633-2565.
The chamber is also again holding a Koeze Nut Sale. It has proven a profitable fundraiser for the group, as the nuts make great holiday gifts. The chamber has catalogs with the order deadline being mid-November.
Executive Director Dorothy Powell also updated guests on the chamber's new website, as it includes all the city's businesses.
Councilman Chris Cleary, the city's liaison to the chamber, said plans are being formulated to hold a meet the candidates night. He added the city will be finishing up some work around Fodor Field.
Following the meeting, a tour of the rec center was given. For individuals into fitness, the center has many nice options at a most reasonable rate. For more information, call 633-0602.
THE NOV. 6 general election is approaching quickly. In conjunction with that landmark vote, The Times Leader has been receiving a myriad of political letters. The final day to have an election-related letter published is Sunday, Oct. 21. For quickest publication, they should be e-mailed to me at the address at the bottom of this column.
DENNY MAGRUDER has to be feeling his oats after Tuesday night's Elton John concert. Magruder is a shaker and mover and a team player. He also runs WesBanco Arena with assistance from Doug Campbell. Elton is one of the all-time heavyweights in the music industry. To Magruder's credit, getting Sir Elton to appear in Wheeling deserves major kudos. To have the concert attract 7,000 fans, paying far-from-bargain-basement prices, speaks volumes of WesBanco's potential. With Magruder weaving his magic, big-time performers are a Friendly City possibility.
THE BUCKEYE 8 leadership opted to give respective members the flexibility to schedule out-of-conference football games the final seven weeks of the season. Currently, the final seven games are all Buckeye 8 foes. Football is a brutal sport to schedule. Basketball is a piece of cake, with added days during the week available, while size disparities are less of a factor and every team has a ticket into the post-season.
Football, doesn't have those luxuries. The freedom to schedule games with three optional weeks is a nice addition for Buckeye 8 athletic directors.
THE DOWNTOWN traffic patterns drew the focus of Bellaire Village Council during Thursday's meeting. It was proposed to change several intersections on Belmont Street to four-way stops, instead of the current two-way. Being a frequent traveler of Belmont Street, I see no reason to add anymore stop signs. The volume of downtown traffic in Bellaire is at an all-time low.
THE OHIO Division II girls' sectional basketball tournament has been moved from OUE to Union Local High School, which will also retain the girls' Division IV sectional.
Kapral may be reached at email@example.com