POINT PLEASANT — With Easter arriving April 1, plans are already underway for Mason County’s fifth annual Easter Parade.
The parade is set for the day prior to Palm Sunday, March 24, at 11 a.m. It will be held in Point Pleasant and will begin at the former Central Elementary School. The parade will continue through the downtown area on Main Street.
As in the past two years, this year’s parade will focus on the many floats created by local churches and depicting Biblical scenes of the life of Jesus Christ, according to Wayne Sanders, one of the organizers. Sanders stated the purpose of the parade is to worship Jesus in public; develop a closer faith-based community; remind folks of the true meaning of Easter; get families talking more about Jesus; and give unbelievers the Gospel.
The parade began upon the suggestion of members of the Mason County Teens for Life, Sanders said. While the first two were just typical parades, Sanders stated by the third year a fellow organizer, Denise Bonecutter, said God was telling her to do something more.
They began getting churches involved, asking each to create a float that depicted a Biblical scene from Palm Sunday to Jesus’ Resurrection. Sanders said he and Bonecutter set a goal of getting 10 churches to participate. A total of 25 churches showed up that year with floats, and the total has continued to rise. Last year, 31 churches built floats, with the scenes going from the Birth of Jesus to Jesus’ Ascension.
The idea even continued in the Bend Area at Christmas time, when Pastor Donnie Dye of Fairview Bible Church organized churches in that area to submit Biblical floats.
Sanders, who serves as president of the Mason and Putnam County Right to Life groups, said the Mason County Right to Life organization sponsors the Easter parade in Point Pleasant, but added that is not the key point.
“It’s not about Right to Life,” Sanders said. “It’s about Christ.”
He added Pastor Dye had some churches participating in the Christmas parade that are not in the Easter event, and stated there is always room for more entries in the spring parade. He said he would like to see churches from Meigs and Gallia counties become involved, as well.
“It’s not just a Point Pleasant thing, it’s a Christ honoring thing,” Sanders said.
He will be holding a similar parade later the same day in Hurricane, Putnam County, at 4 p.m. Now in its second year, the parade had 10 Biblical scenes last year. Sanders said he hopes it will grow, just as Mason County’s has.
The Easter parade is a more reflective parade than most, with those participating asked not to throw candy and take away from the meaning. It is also a more quiet parade, with local firemen refraining from blowing the fire engine sirens.
Any church wanting to participate should contact Sanders or Bonecutter as soon as possible, but before March 10. Sanders can be reached at 304-812-8132, and Bonecutter at 304-593-6939.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.