Organizers plan ‘little festival’ in downtown

EAST LIVERPOOL — A full day of activity is planned Dec. 3 to kick off the Christmas season in the city, starting at 11 a.m. with sidewalk vendors and culminating with the annual parade at 6 p.m.

Partnering to plan this year’s events are the Beacon Association, East Liverpool Community Partnership for Revitalization (ELCPR) and Heritage Thermal Services Inc.

The ELCPR is inviting crafters and vendors — including food vendors — to set up at 11 a.m. along Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. Among food vendors already expected to participating are the Hot Dog Shoppe and MJB BBQ.

Local musicians also will be performing throughout the day in the same area of Market Street.

Kathy Hyatt Smith of ELCPR said the event will be a “little festival,” and said, “We’re trying to get people to spend the day, for a whole day’s experience, then stick around afterward (for the parade and light up night).”

Anyone interested in setting up or performing can contact Hyatt Smith at 330-303-7274.

Registration for the parade gets under way at 4:30 p.m. at Wayne Wells Flooring, 420 E. Fifth Street, followed by line up at 5 and the parade at 6.

This year’s parade theme is “When Christmas Dreams Come True.”

More than 100 units participated last year, and Beacon Association President Brian Vaughn said organizers are hoping to at least match that number this year. Those interested in entering can contact Vaughn at 330-831-5754.

Santa Claus will have his usual place of honor on the East Liverpool IAFF 24 sleigh, along with winners of the Jack Frost, Little Miss Snowflake, Snow King and Snow Queen competition, which is under way, with participants collecting donations.

The child in each category to collect the most donations will win the title, and all donations will be used by the Beacon Association for future endeavors.

To date, the East Liverpool, Beaver Local, Oak Glen and Wellsville high school bands have indicated they will be marching in the parade, as well as the East Liverpool Alumni Band. More bands are welcome to participate, according to Vaughn.

Grand marshal of the this year’s parade is Tom Snow, retired director of the Columbiana-Metropolitan Housing Authority,

Judges will be Ruby and Paul Weymouth and Angel Brock Murphy, with prizes to be awarded in several categories.

Two pickup trucks loaned by Hancock County Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram will be parked at either end of Devon’s Diamond where donations of non-perishable food, toys and clothing can be made in the annual Fill-A-Truck campaign.

All donations will be presented to the local Salvation Army to be distributed to local underprivileged families. Donations can be dropped into the truck beds throughout the day on Dec. 3.

Merchants, organizations and Heritage Thermal will be offering hot chocolate and other refreshments along the parade route to parade-goers.

Following the parade, Light Up Night will be held in Devon’s Diamond, where the 33-foot Christmas tree, donated by Joe Gorrell of South Shadylane, is located.

The evergreen was the Gorrell family’s Christmas tree in their new home 20 years ago and was planted in the yard after the holiday.

It was cut down and installed in the Diamond Friday by city street department workers and will be decorated by the Beacon Association, ELCPR and Heritage Thermal, which purchased new lights.

Stars are being sold by HTS for $1 each to help fund the parade.

Hyatt Smith said the entire Diamond area will be decorated this year.

Mayor Ryan Stovall will light the tree, and the high school choir is expected to perform, with parade marshal Snow also expected to offer remarks. Bob Woomer will serve as parade announcer.

The Beacon Association again is sponsoring the downtown business window decorating contest this year, with the same theme as the parade.

There is no need to register, with judges expecting to walk through the city on Dec. 2 to view all windows. Prizes will be awarded.

More information is available by calling Vaughn or Hyatt Smith.