“It’s always been tradition that the Christmas parade is the week before Thanksgiving to kick off the Christmas spirit,” he said.
This year’s participants will begin lining up on the east parking lot of Portsmouth High School, at 5 p.m., and the parade will begin at 6 p.m.
The parade will travel along Gallia Street, crossing Chillicothe to Fifth Street, and stop at Valley Wholesale on Market Street. So far, about 50 groups are registered to participate; including Portsmouth and Portsmouth West high school bands, King’s Daughters Medical Center Mammography Unit, American Legion, Shriners, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Participation is free, and open to the public. For the safety of small children along the parade route, throwing candy from moving vehicles is prohibited.
Of course, no Christmas parade would be complete without Santa Claus. The big guy in red will be at the end of the procession, and kids can meet him at the Toy Town parking lot, on Market Street, after the parade. There also will be hot chocolate and Tim Hortons Timbits.
“This is the kick off for our whole area of Christmas activities,” Hackworth said. “The parade is on Thursday, and then Southern Ohio Medical Center starts all their Christmas stuff on Friday.”
This year’s SOMC event — called the Winter Wonderland Ball — will echo many of the traditional features of the past celebrations, but will be changed slightly. Rather than the many decorated trees of past years’ Holly Days celebrations, the event will feature four professionally decorated trees up for raffle and a variety of Chinese and silent auction items including themed baskets, trips and many other surprises. It is now also a formal, black-tie event featuring a catered, sit-down dinner with live entertainment. The event begins at 6 p.m. Friday, and tickets are limited and cost $45 each.
For more information about this year’s Christmas parade, contact the Jaycees at (740) 353-6709, or
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.