BEND AREA — What a difference a week makes.
After the town leadership in both New Haven and Mason decided to postpone Christmas parades from Dec. 1 to this past Saturday because of an all-day rain, the events were held in dry, but cold, weather.
The majority of both parades was made up of 10 Bend Area churches who had entries depicting not only the birth, but life of Jesus Christ. The entries began when the angel visited Mary to tell her of the coming birth, all the way to the empty tomb, following the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This was the second year the churches came together for a more solemn parade than most. The church involvement was the brainchild of Fairview Bible Church Pastor Donnie Dye, who had witnessed the similar parade at Easter time in Point Pleasant. Firemen refrained from the normal blowing of the sirens, and due to the parade postponement, the Wahama White Falcon Band was unable to participate because of a number of students who had signed up to take the ACT test.
Churches placing entries in the parade were Fairview Bible Church, Northbend Church, Graham United Methodist, Salem Community Church, Mason United Methodist, St. Paul Lutheran, First Baptist Church, Faith Baptist Church, New Haven United Methodist, and New Haven Church of God.
Among the other parade entries in either town were the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta and Mason County Fair royalty, Gallipolis Shrine Club, Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 and Smith-Capehart American Legion Post 140, New Haven Road Angels car club, and many others. Of course, to the delight of the children attending, Santa appeared in both parades. He rode atop a fire truck in New Haven, but quickly changed back to his sleigh for the Mason parade.
Following the parade in Mason, Santa stopped in at town hall to listen to children’s wish lists. They were given ornaments, stockings and stuffed animals, and enjoyed refreshments of holiday cookies.
There is one more Christmas event to come in the Bend Area this year. “Christmas in the Park” will be held Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park in Mason.
Those attending will be able to view the trees set up in the park by individuals, clubs and organizations. Many of the trees were placed in memory of a loved one. There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides, and cookies and hot chocolate, provided by the family of town council member Sharon Kearns.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.