After visits all over town, Santa made one more trip to wave hello to the people of New Boston, during their annual Christmas Parade on Saturday evening.
The parade left the New Boston Mall parking lot, circled around the village, and back to the fire station, where the New Boston Kiwanis Club offered free hot chocolate and cookies. Santa was also there to meet with children.
“It has been growing and getting larger every year. It has been successful and has our great interest,” Mayor Junior Williams said. “It really puts us all in a more festive mood.”
Mayor Williams explained that the celebration isn’t only for New Boston community members.
“We’ve decorated the community center, along with the parade, and we like to welcome the community and anyone from around the area to celebrate the holidays, shop, and be merry in the Village of New Boston,” Williams explained.
The parade had many New Boston businesses and organizations involved.
Nearly every church participated; many school organizations; politicians Ryan Ottney, running for commissioner, and Steve Goins, running for Sheriff, were both present; Batman drove Andrew Hollywood Peck in his Hopemobile; local businesses, such as Genesis and Interim, were driving; and more.
This year’s grand marshal was long-time New Boston resident John Wickline, who is retired from the New Boston School District, where he served for 40 plus years. Wickline was also the public address announcer for New Boston High School basketball, and most other sports, for many years.
“We are very honored to have John as our grand marshal this year,” Councilman Mike Payton said. “His knowledge of New Boston history, particularly New Boston sports history, is legendary. He represents what ‘Tiger Pride’ is all about.”
Wickline was surprised by the nomination, but said he is honored.
“It is a tremendous honor. I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve helped with Breakfast with Santa since the beginning,” Wickline said. “It was a big surprise, when they called and asked me to be the grand marshal.”
Wickline said that he remains in the community, because he wants to be a good citizen.
Many people turned out for the parade.
New Boston Native Katie Williams was in the parade with her father, John Williams, as well as the rest of the New Boston Fire Department.
“It’s great being a part of a community that comes together to celebrate and spread holiday cheer to everyone,” New Boston native Katie Williams said. “Seeing the excitement on kids’ faces as the band, cheerleaders, student athletes, and community figures, like the policemen and firemen, go by. It makes walking in the cold totally worth while. Plus, everyone loves seeing Santa and enjoying some hot-chocolate after the parade.”
The parade is planned for every Saturday in December, as part of a New Boston proclamation, stating that it forever stands as the James Warren Breakfast with Santa Day.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.
New Boston High School Marching Band opening the parade