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Marching into the season

Barnesville one of several communities to host Christmas parades this weekend

BARNESVILLE — Local communities are helping to kick off the holiday season by hosting Christmas parades for residents and their families to enjoy.

The annual Barnesville Christmas Parade, sponsored by Hissom’s Service Center and the Barnesville Area Chamber of Commerce, is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Lineup is at 3:30 p.m. at Barnesville Middle School.

Jill Hissom, director of the chamber, said the parade will make its way through the village, ending at the elementary school on West Church Street.

“We have many entries. It keeps getting bigger and better each year,” she said, adding that organizers are unsure just how many floats and vehicles will participate this year as registration continues. “There will be fire trucks, horses, floats and a dance group.”

Mr. and Mrs. Claus are the parade marshals this year and will ride on the Hissom’s Service Center vehicle.

Judging will take place prior to the start of the parade. It is recommended that those interested in participating in the contest be there before 5 p.m. Pre-registrations can be turned in to Hissom’s Service Center. Winners will be announced as the parade makes its way past the Christmas tree, located at the corner of Arch and East Main streets.

Hissom invites all to come out and enjoy the parade. A vendor show and synthetic ice skating rink will also be available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In Bridgeport, the annual Christmas parade is set for 2 p.m. Sunday. Lineup starts at 12:30 p.m. on South Lincoln Avenue. The parade route is to travel along Howard Street to the Stop 10 Bridge and end at the municipal building on Main Street.

Mayor Norma Teasdale said the parade is a “wonderful opportunity for friends and neighbors to connect while enjoying the festive season.”

Judging will take place as the parade passes the municipal building. Trophies will be awarded for best float, best youth participant, best business participant, best religious entry, best marching band, best dance participant, best use of music, best overall, and the fire chief award.

Bethesda’s Lighted Christmas Parade and tree lighting ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday. Cookies and refreshments will follow in the community room. According to the village’s Facebook page, the community’s antique fire truck will be decorated as a backdrop where attendees can take photos with Santa Claus. Santa’s mailbox is located outside the village building for children interested in sending him letters and receiving mail in return.

The Neff’s Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Neffs American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday; lineup is at 12:30 p.m. The parade begins at the Dollar General on Pike Street and will make a loop around town, ending at the store. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served afterward at the legion. Paula Peters, treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary, said it has been several years since there was a parade in Neffs.

“We’re bringing back an old tradition,” she said, adding that there was a lot of interest in seeing it return. “We have a decent amount of entries and the Bellaire marching band will be there. … We have a lot of school involvement.”

The Lafferty Volunteer Fire Department and Lafferty Gas Station will hold the third annual “Christmas in Lafferty” at 5 p.m. Saturday. Lineup for the parade is at 4 p.m. with the parade getting underway at 5 p.m. along Mt. Hope Road and ending at the township garage on Alexander Street.

Katy Brudzinski, a member of the fire department and co-owner of the gas station, said there will be hot chocolate, cookies, crafts and Christmas music played as they light the tree following the parade at Lafferty Community Park. She said Santa Claus will be there to take pictures with attendees.

Brudzinski said they are looking forward to the event and anticipate a good turnout from the community.

In Shadyside, the village chamber of commerce has taken over the responsibilities for this year’s parade, which is set for 7 p.m. Friday. Bobbi Jo Kinemond, member of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, said lineup for the parade is at 6 p.m. on Highland Avenue. The parade will travel along 36th Street to Central Avenue to 43rd Street, ending on 40th Street. She said it will essentially make the loop around the village.

“So far it looks like it’s going to be a nice one (parade),” she said.

The Cadiz Lighted Christmas Parade will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday; lineup starts at 4:30 p.m. on Grant Street near the Harrison County Fairgrounds.

In Flushing, Saturday will kick off with a breakfast with Santa event from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Flushing United Methodist Church. A craft and vendor show will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Flushing Volunteer Fire Department. The parade will start at 11 a.m.; lineup at 9 a.m. at Schuler Park.

Breakfast with Santa is also on tap in the village of Belmont, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Belmont Gym. Later that evening, at 6 p.m., the village tree lighting is set to happen on South Bridge.

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Christmas parade at 6 p.m. beginning with the lighting of the Christmas tree at 5 p.m. in front of the Monroe County Courthouse. An array of activities will take place throughout the day, including a vendor show outside of Modern Hardware.

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