Communities kick off holiday season with parades, activities
by Beckye Randall
Mother Nature decided to rain—and snow—on local parades December 1, but residents braved the weather to help kick off the holidays in their community.
In Arlington, Hometown Holidays events included a Santa Parade followed by a tree lighting ceremony and free wagon rides around town. With the festivities beginning at noon, residents were bundled up against the cold but dry weather in downtown Arlington. Street-side decorations were matched by holiday store windows as visitors listened to carolers, got photos with Santa and browsed through the unique downtown shops.
By the time folks in Marysville began lining up for the Merrysville for the Holidays Electric Lights Parade, which was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., the season’s first snowfall was sticking to the road surface and swirling in the biting wind.
About 800 people braved the wintry weather to watch the parade, and they were rewarded with a display that included a record-breaking 35 parade entrants. Sparkling holiday lights adorned vehicles from fire trucks to horse-drawn carriages to autos, and walkers carried lighted signs and flashlights.
The historic water tower in Comeford Park was decorated in its traditional drum-like design, although it was hard to see the lights through the heavy snow.
By Sunday, most of the snow had melted away as the weather system shifted back to a mild, wet pattern. Parade-goers agreed they preferred snow to rain for the Christmas event.