It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Wheeling as last-minute details are finalized for the annual Perkins Restaurant & Bakery Fantasy in Lights Parade set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Lisa Mullin, senior vice president of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, is the key to finalizing the parade logistics, entries and fun, Chamber President Terry Sterling said.
"A tremendous amount of staff time is devoted to this event on a year-round basis. Lisa Mullin has to be commended for all of her hard work. She makes sure all the final details and last minute arrangements are made to make this a very, very safe and enjoyable event," Sterling said.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
Bill Bryson, Fantasy in Lights Parade chairman, and Lisa Mullin, senior vice president of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, check out one of the 90 entries in this year’s parade to be held Friday night in downtown Wheeling.
Sterling is urging the public to come downtown early Friday and enjoy the pre-parade concert.
The concert will be held on an outdoor stage at 14th and Main streets. The concert will feature two local singing groups, the Joseph Sisters and Spinning Jenny. This is a family-oriented concert and is free to the public.
Due to the concert, traffic patterns in the downtown area will be disrupted earlier and at different locations. Wheeling police Deputy Chief Martin Kimball said 14th Street between Main and Market streets will be closed all day on Friday. Market Street between 12th and 16th streets will be closed at 4 p.m. Traffic will be rerouted through town before and during the parade which is expected to run from 6:30-8 p.m.
Motorists also are reminded that the parade participants will be lining up in Center Wheeling, also necessitating the closure of 20th through 22nd streets and a portion of 23rd Street beginning at 5 p.m. No parking will be allowed in those areas and along the parade route. Meters will be bagged along the parade route instructing visitors of the no parking situation.
City officials recommend parking in the various city parking garages and surface lots.
Highlights of the parade will include two tribute floats to West Virginia's 150th birthday, the Talking Christmas Tree, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, the West Virginia University Mountaineer, many costumed characters, former astronaut Jon McBride, area church groups, dance schools and bands.
G. Randolph "Randy" Worls and Ross Felton will serve as parade marshals.