It'll be anything but a "silent night" in Warren on Friday.
Highlighted by the Christmas Parade, which will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with more than 30 distinct units, Warren's annual Christmas Walk will fill the streets downtown with Christmas treats.
"We are absolutely ready to go," said Melissa Anderson, operations director with the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, who is coordinating the parade in conjunction with the Times Observer. "We have over 40 local businesses and organizations" that will have offerings downtown after the parade. She encouraged those that come to take advantages of those offerings.
Times Observer photo by Rob Andersen
From left, Times Observer Publisher Robert Patchen, WCCBI Operations Director Melissa Anderson and WCCBI Council on Tourism Director John Papalia Jr. take care of last-minute parade details on Thursday. For more information on events slated for Friday, see page A-7 as well as A-9, which features the map of all the events.
Two new aspects of the parade have recently fallen into place.
The first? Wally Post will be the Grand Marshal.
"Wally has contributed to this community for decades," Times Observer Publisher Robert Patchen said. "Instead of having him plan it, we want to honor him for all the work he has done with the 4th of July parade."
"I love it," Post said of the parade, which, he estimated, has been a part of the Warren Christmas tradition since the 1970s. While he will be the Grand Marshal, it will be impossible to keep him totally away from the work. "I'm still going to work the forming area," said Post. He said the Jaycees started the Christmas Walk and noted that "it's what we've done for years."
Dale Bliss of WNAE 1310 AM will also be on hand in front of the Times Observer building to emcee the parade along with Anderson.
"There is nothing that says Warren more vocally than Dale Bliss," said Patchen. "We're honored to have him joining us to (emcee) with Melissa."
"I've done some parades and stuff before, but never this one so I'm looking forward to," Bliss said.
The Santa House on Liberty Street will also be open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday as well as 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The House will be open the following two weekends, Dec. 13 and 14 and Dec. 20 and 21, with the same Friday night and Saturday morning hours in place as this weekend.
From a procedural note, Patchen wanted to remind individuals that registration for the parade will be held in the Times Observer warehouse, which can be accessed by turning off of Market Street between McDonalds and Subway. "We only need one or two members of each group to come register," said Patchen. "We're asking people to get here as early as possible so we can get everyone lined up." The lineup will occur behind Shoe Sensation at the foot of Market Street.
"It's really been an honor to be able to coordinate this," Patchen added. "(The) community support and downtown business support shows that we have a vibrant downtown with a lot of small business owners who really rallied and supported this Christmas Walk."