Downtown Elkins will light up on Friday as the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade steps off along Davis Avenue. With 70 participants, this Friday's parade will be one of the biggest Christmas parades to take place downtown.
"It is a really great community event," Chamber Executive Director Kate Reed said. "We have nearly 70 entries in the parade, including several lit-up floats and six bands."
Reed said immediately following the parade youth will have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus at the Elkins-Randolph YMCA. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will both be on hand to take "wish lists" and distribute treats to the youth. Reed said refreshments and entertainment will be provided to the youth for free while they wait in line to meet Santa.
The Inter-Mountain will also be on hand to provide free photos of children with Santa Claus. Reed added that there will also be gifts handed out during the event.
The theme for the parade will be "I believe in Christmas." Participants will decorate their floats to resemble characters and scenes from "The Polar Express," use lights or represent local traditions in Randolph County.
Awards will be presented to parade participants in categories including Director's Choice, President's Choice, Christmas Spirit/Commercial and Christmas Spirit/Non-Commercial.
The parade is slated to begin at 7 p.m. with line-up in front of Perfection Plus at 6 p.m. The route will begin in South Elkins near Wimer Field and end at the corner of Davis Avenue and Fourth Street.
The 2012 Parade Sponsor is Frontier Communications, and the 2012 Children's Division Sponsor is TRG Customer Solutions.
Division Sponsors include Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Randolph County CVB and Scott's Auto.
Other sponsors include the Randolph County Commission, Elkins Business Consulting, the Elkins Depot Welcome Center, the Women's Club of Elkins and Yorkey & Associates.
The Elkins ON TRAC Promotions Committee will kick off the annual Holiday Open House Friday and Saturday. More than 20 local business will participate in the in the event, offering a total of $250 in giveaways. Five gift certificates will be awarded in a drawing on Dec. 4, including one $100 certificate, two valued at $50 and two at $25.
"We are really happy to have the activity downtown," ON TRAC Project Manager Karen Carper said. "The open house is a tradition with the businesses."