While it is currently the spooky season, with pumpkin spice and scary movie marathons dominating the month of October, it is already a different holiday season for community planners, who are deep into the legwork necessary for the Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions the community expects.
One of those traditions happens to be the Annual Portsmouth Area Jaycees’ Christmas Parade that is in its 84th year. The event is a huge community undertaking that features local businesses, charities, and clubs through a colorful and lit parade route.
“The participants really make this what it is. Not only the City of Portsmouth and the Chamber of Commerce, but also the community organizations that march, the volunteers who help, and the community members who come out to enjoy it,” Jaycees friend Leroy Hackworth said.
Hackworth said not much is prohibited, with many groups decorating huge floats and most passing out treats, but he does ask that people in cars no longer throw candy.
“It is just a safety concern. Sometimes the candy lands in the street and kids want to run out and collect it,” Hackworth explained. “Well, if someone is in the parade and waiving and having a good time, they may miss a kid. We just want everything to have a fun, safe time.”
Hackworth says that this tradition is an important one, because it kicks off the holiday season.
“It feels good to kick off the Christmas season for area residents in such a way,” Hackworth said. “We’re happy to do what we do.”
The parade will end at Market Street, where Friends of Portsmouth will kick off Winterfest with the Christmas tree lighting and first night of festivities.
The parade welcomes about 60 participants each year, but many are large groups that extend the length of the event.
The parade will be held Thursday, November 17. According to the Jaycees, the parade starts at Portsmouth High School and travels west on Gallia Street to Chillicothe Street, onto 5th Street and ends at Market Street.
The Jaycees is a social group in need of members. Anyone ages 21-40 may join. They can contact the group on Facebook at Portsmouth Area Jaycees.
“The Jaycees is a great way to get involved in the community, by doing something that is positive and benefits the people of Portsmouth through action,” Hackworth said.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved