NEW HAVEN — People attending the New Haven and Mason Christmas parades on Saturday will see the true meaning of the holiday, thanks to 15 Bend Area churches.
For the first time ever, the churches have joined together, each building a float to depict the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. The floats will lead the parades in both towns.
Fairview Bible Church Pastor Donnie Dye, one of the organizers of the floats, said he was overwhelmed at Easter when the Mason County Right to Life sponsored a similar parade in Point Pleasant. More than the parade itself, however, was the unity of the churches, he added.
Pastor Dye said he saw that same unity when he approached the pastors of the participating churches for the Christmas parade.
“I was blessed to see 15 churches participating in unity, with no doctrine involved, strictly telling of the birth of Jesus,” the pastor said.
When meeting with the various ministers, Pastor Dye said one stated he didn’t want to leave the story of Jesus at the stable, so three floats were added to the end.
Due to the nature of this year’s parades, there will also be some other changes.
Stephen Duncan, New Haven fire chief, said out of respect, the fire trucks will not be blowing their sirens throughout the parade.
“They (the churches) put a lot of work into this,” said Duncan. “Out of respect for them and for the Christmas season, we won’t be using the sirens. It will give more thought to the season.”
Duncan added he was also excited about the added participation in the parades.
Mason firefighter Paul Johnson said the trucks in his department will remain silent in that town’s parade, as well.
The floats, and the churches hosting them, are as follows:
Isaiah 40:3, Fairview Bible Church; Angel Visiting Mary, Bachtel United Methodist Church of New Haven; Mary Visits Elizabeth, Graham Methodist Church; Angel Visits Joseph, Church of Christ in Christian Union of Hartford; Traveling to Jerusalem, Salem Community Church; Gathering to pay taxes in Jerusalem, Salem Community Church; No Room at the Inn, Mason United Methodist Church;
Star, Clifton and West Columbia United Methodist churches; Angels appear to the Shepherds, St. Paul Lutheran Church of New Haven; Birth – Manger, First Baptist Church of Mason; Shepherds Visit Baby Jesus, Faith Baptist Church of Mason; Wise Men Visit Young Jesus, Union Charge Methodist; Garden of Gethsemane, New Haven United Methodist Church; Cross, Church of God of New Haven; and Tomb, Northbend Church of Mason.
The New Haven Christmas parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Layne Street, turn right onto Fifth Street, and continue through town. Mason’s parade will begin at noon at the Faith Baptist Church parking lot and continue to the town hall.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]