POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant City Council met virtually on Tuesday evening and discussed annual Christmas events.
All council members were present at the meeting — including Bob McMillam, Gabe Roush, Corrie Fetty, Paul Knisley, Cody Greathouse, Leigh Ann Shepard, Nathan Wedge, Judy Holland, Diana Hall and Dylan Handley — along with Mayor Brian Billings and City Clerk Amber Tatterson.
Among the topics discussed at the meeting, Mayor Billings asked council members for their suggestions regarding the annual Christmas parade and tree lighting. Billings said he received guidelines from the county health department, which Billings said were to not have groups larger than 25, to wear masks and to social distance.
Billings said the city does not have the people to enforce spacing between people and ensure everyone is wearing a mask. However, Billings also said while safety is the first concern, he worries about taking away from the merchants during the holiday shopping season.
Councilman Nathan Wedge said his suggestion would be to post the recommendations from the health department and Centers for Disease Control, but let people make their own decisions on whether or not to come to the event.
Councilman Dylan Handley said the city could follow the color code system from the state to determine if the event will continue.
Councilman Cody Greathouse suggested extending the parade route so people would not congregate in a smaller area. The mayor said in longer parade routes, controlling or stopping traffic was an issue.
After the discussion, council agreed to proceed with the annual Christmas parade and tree lighting. The event will be on Friday, Dec. 4, and will likely begin at 6:30 p.m. with the parade. Council advises participants and spectators to use caution, wear a mask and keep distant from others in town.
The parade route will begin at 12th Street and continue south to First Street. Council encourages people to go north of Sixth Street to reduce crowd sizes.
Council also decided to follow the state color code for Mason County regarding the event. On Nov. 23, depending on where Mason County is categorized in the color levels, the event may be canceled.
The tree lighting will be at Gunn Park as usual. Council suggested considering a platform to lift the speaker so people can see from a further distance than usual.
Randy Hall, the city inspector and street commissioner, told council the Krodel Christmas Light Show, which is sponsored by Main Street Point Pleasant, will proceed as usual this year. Hall said many of the bulbs are ready or ordered. The displays are on schedule to be ready for the first night of the show on the Saturday before Thanksgiving — Nov. 21.
More on this week’s meeting of Point Pleasant City Council will appear in upcoming editions of the Register.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.