We All Love a Parade

We All Love a Parade

We All Love a Parade

I love parades and went to Wheeling’s parade for more years than I care to admit. And since Wheeling changed their parade to include lights, I have helped decorate a few floats and been in a couple of the parades with one or both of my kids.  According to online records, Wheeling’s first parade was in 1930.  In those early years, it was estimated that 100,000 spectators (dressed to the nines, mind you) came out—or jammed the streets of downtown Wheeling—to revel in all that is good about a wonderful tradition that continues today.  Wheeling’s parades have showcased all the area schools, including, at one time or another, some of Wheeling’s high schools—Wheeling High, Triadelphia High, Warwood High, Lincoln High and Linsly Military Institute, along with all our surrounding community schools in West Virginia and Ohio. Our parade would not be a parade without all the beautifully decorated floats, of course, Santa Claus and especially the school bands.  I love hearing a band in the distance and was always disappointed when they passed and happened to be taking a break.   Many clubs, businesses, organizations, hospitals, local fire departments and all those wonderful dance studios participate.  The little ones in their cute (and not so warm) costumes are adorable.   And don’t forget the beautiful horses—which there was always a more than aromatic, nasty mess left on the streets.  I always felt bad for those bands and participants that had to walk behind the horses—not so nice.  At one time I don’t think they had anyone following the horses as they do today to pick up after them.  But, nonetheless, I love horses in parades. I admit it has been a couple of years since I went to Wheeling’s parade and just stayed home in the warmth and comfort of watching it on TV.  But this year I plan on attending.  One of the memories that has stayed with me is WVU’s band coming to Wheeling.  I could not wait to see them and was disappointed that they did not come every year.  If you have not heard, they are coming to Wheeling this year!  It is one thing to see them on the football field in all their glory—they are so, so good.  It is even more stunning to hear them coming in the distance at a parade and then watch as they parade by—impressive, just impressive! So if you love bands, especially The Pride of West Virginia, make plans for Wheeling’s parade this year because we are in for a treat.  This year’s Fantasy in Lights Parade is set for Friday, Nov. 18.   Something else to be proud of is the fact that The Pride of West Virginia has been invited, for the first time, to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. That parade is at 9 a.m., Nov. 24.  Don’t miss it.