Many local Christmas events offered over the weekend – The Steubenville Herald-Star

Parade Follansbee Snow Machine WEB

WINTER WONDERLAND — Children and adults attending Follansbee’s Christmas light up got a taste of winter thanks to two snow machines. Among them were, front to back: Emma Bober, Julianna Maynard and Lily Clark. — Warren Scott

Area residents and visitors had many ways to celebrate the arrival of the Christmas season Saturday and Sunday, thanks to the support of many businesses and other organizations and efforts of a large number of volunteers. 

Many gathered along Fourth Street in Steubenville Saturday afternoon to watch the Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade.  

With long-time community activist Delores Wiggins serving as grand marshal, the procession featured more than 70 units, including the marching bands of Steubenville, Catholic Central and Harrison Central high schools and Harding Middle School, among other musical performers; and floats inspired by “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Frozen” and other Christmas and fairy tales.  

The crew at Eastern Construction and Excavating in recent years has enjoyed using their equipment to surprise parade-goers, and this year it was The Grinch riding in the plow of a dozer that lifted him upward. 

While waiting for the parade to begin, many stopped to view the assorted nutcrackers and Christmas trees placed along the street. 

Parade Toronto MSB WEB

CHRISTMAS CHEER — Flanked by toy soldiers and animals, staff from the Toronto branch of Main Street Bank and others rode one of many lighted floats in the Christmas parade organized Saturday by Focus in Toronto. — Warren Scott

“This is our first time for the parade. We came here for the nutcrackers,” said Danette Iverson of Napoleon, Ohio, who came to Steubenville with her daughter, Rachel, after learning of the Nutcracker Village through the Internet. 

“It seems like we hit the jackpot being here this weekend,” added Iverson, who noted the many Christmas events scheduled across the Ohio Valley for Saturday and Sunday. 

Alyssa Waugh of Wintersville, another Steubenville parade attendee, said, “I usually come to this because my daughter’s in the Big Red band. We usually go to the Nutcracker Village after. My little one, who’s 9, loves it. Every year he looks forward to it.” 

Many parade-goers also headed later for Beatty Park, where volunteers arranged several attractions, including music by the Sycamore Youth Center Classical Choir, a live nativity, holiday crafts for children to make and refreshments. 

Later on Saturday, city officials and volunteers organized a light up event outside the Follansbee City Building that included a short children’s parade with music supplied by the Brooke Middle School Band. 

Parade Steubenville Santa WEB

SPECIAL GUEST — The Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade on Saturday was capped off with an appearance by Santa Claus in a special sleigh provided by Steel Valley Tanks. — Warren Scott

Santa and Mrs. Claus visited with children, who also were invited to create crafts and partake of hot dogs and other refreshments.  

Attendees of all ages were invited to pose for photos with various Christmas props courtesy of Deja Booth, a photo booth run by Franco Pinacchio, and J.J. Guida Realty; and to get their first taste of winter by stepping before either of two snow machines. 

Among those attending was Brian Jacobs, who had flown from Benita Springs, Fla. to his hometown for a short holiday weekend in which he and his family enjoyed a few holiday events. 

“We went to the Nutcracker Village and the (Oglebay) Festival of Lights. There’s a lot of stuff to do,” he said. 

Many turned out Saturday evening for the Focus in Toronto Christmas Parade, which is named for the volunteer group that coordinates it. 

Parade Wintersville Ice Rink WEB

PRETTY SLICK — Blayne DeGarmo, 10, of Toronto demonstrated relative grace as he tried the synthetic ice rink set up outside the Wintersville Municipal Building as part of the first Wintersville Winter Weekend event. — Warren Scott

A stream of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles displayed their lights, leading the way for a series of floats and other units decked out in brightly colored bulbs and other sources of illumination. 

The Toronto High School Marching Band and Deb-U-Let Twirlers performed for the many attending. 

The twirlers received Focus in Toronto’s trophy for a performing entry, while cash prizes went to the following three floats: Main Street Bank, which was named first place; Cub Scout Pack 41, second place; and the Last Resort Riverfront Bar & Grill, third place. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus also appeared in the parade before meeting with children at the city’s Gazebo Commons area. 

Chris Canyock of Toronto, a regular attendee of his town’s Christmas parade, said, “I also like going down to the fort and seeing the nutcrackers and the Festival of Lights in Wheeling.” 

But he noted one doesn’t have to go far to enjoy the spectacle of the Christmas season.  

“We also like just driving around the neighborhoods and seeing their lights,” said Canyock. 

There also was much to see and do in Steubenville’s neighboring community, as the first Wintersville Winter Weekend was held Saturday and Sunday. 

The event is a continuation of the Wednesday in Wintersville street fair held there during the warmer months, but it also involved village officials and other groups that held special events to coincide with it. 

Opening ceremonies at Wintersville United Methodist Church included the lighting of luminaria, in honor of loved ones, along Main Street. Joel Johns, who organized the effort, said more than 200 were sponsored, raising at least $1,000 for the Trinity Health System’s Tony Teramana Cancer Center. 

He confirmed many donated more than the $5 asked for each light, so the official total hadn’t been determined. 

Many gathered along the street on Sunday afternoon for the Wintersville Christmas Parade, a long-time tradition that included a record number of units, from police cars and fire trucks to the miniature vehicles driven by the Steubenville Shrine Club to floats depicting the Nativity and scenes of Christmas fantasies and traditions. 

Performing in the parade were members of the Main Street Dance Company and the Catholic Central and Indian Creek high school marching bands. 

The Indian Creek band performed for the lighting of a Christmas tree outside the Municipal Building on Grove Street. 

Many came to the building’s parking lot to sample several food trucks there or try a synthetic ice skating rink that was offered free through the sponsorship of Mayor Mike Petrella and several area businesses. 

Among them was Cedar One Realty, which also brought a small bus to the site to collect donations for the Indian Creek High School food pantry. 

One of many commenting favorably on the new Wintersville event was Alyssicia Donahue of Toronto, who watched as her 10-year-old son, Blayne, darted about the skating rink. 

“It’s nice. I really like it a lot,” she said. 

When asked her favorite local Christmas event, Donahue said, “I like doing all of them. I like going out and seeing things and chatting with people.” 

While Saturday and Sunday may prove to have been the busiest weekend on local calendars, there still are many events slated for the weeks ahead. 

Among them are a Victorian Candlelight Concert featuring the music of Faire May on Dec. 10 at the Main Library of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County; Focus in Toronto’s Christmas Art Festival Dec. 10 at the Karaffa Recreation Center; a Nutcracker Tea Party Dec. 18 at Beatty Park; the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Illuminate Weirton event on Dec. 18; the Holiday Market at Historic Fort Steuben each Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and holiday movie nights at the fort’s Louis Berkman Amphitheater on Dec. 16, 17 and 23. 

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox