EAST LIVERPOOL - A full day of activities is being planned Dec. 3 by the city's tourism bureau to kick off the Christmas season, with the annual Light Up Night and parade combined on one day this year.
Tourism President Karl Fife said Light Up Night has traditionally been held the Saturday following Thanksgiving but, due to students being on holiday break, it was difficult to round them up to perform in the choir that night.
So this year, it was decided to combine the two events, with a bit of a twist: The lighting of the tree on Devon's Diamond will be held right after the parade ends, with spectators encouraged to follow the parade as it passes by, ending up at the diamond for the tree lighting festivities.
Line up for the parade will begin at 4 p.m., with the procession to begin at 5 p.m. Fife said the starting time is about an hour earlier than in past years.
This year's parade theme is "Back Home Again for the Holidays," and all military personnel who are home for the holidays will be honored as parade marshals. Military personnel interested in participating are asked to contact the tourism board so they can be added to the list.
The parade is again being sponsored by the East Liverpool Jaycees.
DPS Penn has stepped up and offered to be the corporate sponsor for this year's Light Up Night and has also made a substantial donation toward the purchase of new lights and decorations for the Christmas tree.
In addition to performances by the school choir, Light Up Night activities following the parade will include introduction of the grand marshals, the crowning of Little Jack Frost, Little Miss Snowflake, a Snow Queen and a Snow King.
Those interested in participating in the contests can contact Brian Vaughn of the Jaycees at 330-831-5754.
Parade-goers are also encouraged to bring with them a new or gently used coat or jacket to donate to DPS Penn's "Warm Hearts, Warm People" campaign to provide warm winter wear to those less fortunate, now in its second year.
The coats will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution in the East Liverpool area and will be collected at the Christmas tree on Light Up Night.
Other activities planned for the day include breakfast with Santa at the Masonic Temple sponsored by the Order of the Eastern Star, and tours of the Thompson House, with those times still to be announced.
Those with questions about the parade or Light Up Night can contact the tourism bureau at 234-517-7052, which is a local number.