ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK) Many cities including Charleston, WV canceled their annual Christmas parades early in the season because of concerns about COVID-19. But a handful of smaller communities like Ripley, Sissonville and St. Albans are pushing ahead with events.
“I think people will be out. I hope they will. I trust,” said Brandi Barton, the owner of Brandi’s Emporium on Main Street. Barton opened her shop there just over a year ago. The shop has been closed four months total during the pandemic. Most recently Barton had to close for a few weeks because she tested postive for COVID-19.
She said she’s glad the city decided to move forward with the parade.
“My Saturday last year of the Christmas parade was great. It was a really good day,” Barton said.
For businesses already struggling from a tough year, having that extra foot traffic could be a welcomed boost.
“We are encouraging everyone who is watching the parade to wear masks and stay socially distanced on the streets,” explained Adam Bryan, one of the event leaders.
The biggest change this year is that people in the parade won’t be handing out candy and people will be asked to wear masks. Otherwise they opted to stick with tradition.
“I’m not going to say there wasn’t any discussion, there was discussion,” Bryan said. “But for the most part it was a pretty big majority. There wasn’t really much debate. The only debate was can we do it safely.”
For people who aren’t comfortable going out, or live outside the area, there’ll also be a live stream of the parade from Main Street.
People can watch it for free by going to the St. Albans area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. Also all three parades, St. Albans, Sissonville and Ripley are happening this coming Saturday.