WEIRTON - It's not beginning to look like Christmas just yet, but plans are under way to usher in the holiday season with the Weirton Christmas Parade.
This year's parade, organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 30, with a television broadcast beginning at 6:30 p.m.
In recognition of the Mountain State's sesquicentennial this year, the chamber has selected a theme of "A West Virginia Christmas," and has invited the area's representatives of the state Senate and House of Delegates to serve as the parade's grand marshals.
"We thought it appropriate to end the year with a West Virginia Christmas, and even more appropriate to have our local state officials as grand marshals," Chamber President Brenda Mull said.
The parade is being sponsored this year by First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union, Nick's Auto Sales, Weirton Medical Center and West Virginia Northern Community College.
One attraction added to last year's event will be making its return.
"We will be having fireworks again this year," Mull said.
Hancock County Savings Bank is serving as the grand finale sponsor for the fireworks, which will take place immediately following the parade, with additional support from MedExpress, Marsh Pipe and Supply and FirstEnergy.
According to Chamber Program Director Patty Soplinski, there currently are about 40 participants registered in the parade, including nine commercial floats. The deadline to register is Nov. 15.
The chamber also will hold two meetings to pass out information on the parade rules and lineup to all participants.
"There will be two mandatory meetings," Soplinski said. "They can choose either of those."
Those meetings currently are set from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 26 and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Nov. 27.
Chamber officials explained participants will have to be checked in by 5 p.m. the day of the parade.
"The roads will be shut down at 5 p.m.," Mull said. "People participating need to be at their positions by then."
For information on the parade, or to register, contact the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce at (304) 748-7212.