GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis Christmas Parade will be rolling across Second Avenue at 1 p.m. this Saturday as Gallipolis officially announces its Christmas season.
According to Gallia County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Administrative Assistant Karen McCarty, parade participants will start lining up at noon. Most of the walkers line up on Spruce Street, some will line up near Bossard Memorial Library and Duke’s Cleaners and others will line up near the Gallipolis Developmental Center. Some may also be stationed near Sycamore Street.
The Christmas Parade and Independence Day Parade are traditionally the largest parades of the year in Gallipolis. Santa Claus will be available to families to visit with in City Park after the parade.
According to McCarty, over 50 organizational entrants will be part of the parade this year. Gallia Academy High School Marching Band along with South Gallia High School Marching Band and River Valley High School Marching Band will also join the line.
McCarty said she was surprised to see the number of local businesses taking part in the event this year.
This year’s parade marshal will be Megan Wise, former Miss Ohio USA.
“I was extremely honored and feel really enthusiastic about being asked,” said Wise. “I’ve been in lots of parades before but I’ve never been a marshal.”
Wise said that she has been in over 50 events this year alone while touring as Miss Ohio USA and is no newcomer to parade events. Wise, whose reign as Miss Ohio USA ended earlier this month, said she was honored to be named parade marshal because she felt her parade days were past her.
McCarty said parade organizers always try to pick a marshal who has impacted the city or county when considering their choices.
McCarty could not clarify how long the parade had been going on annually in Gallipolis, but said it has occurred for as long as she can remember. She said the event has grown over the course of the last five years. In 2010, roughly 50 organizations filed to participate. In 2015, more than 94 organizations had registered to participate, but some of those may have multiple units or floats partaking in the parade. The largest has measured around 10 vehicles.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.