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Parade will launch Christmas season

Area children better watch out and they better not pout, because Santa Claus will arrive in town Nov.

Wednesday, November 10, 1999

Area children better watch out and they better not pout, because Santa Claus will arrive in town Nov. 29.

Ironton Business Association members are busy preparing the landing strip for Santa and his 12 reindeer, as well as organizing a parade for his arrival, said Lou Pyles, IBA co-president.

"The parade is a lot of fun and we enjoy doing it," Mrs. Pyles said. "And a lot of people have called to participate this year. Santa’s anxious to come to town and the elves have been busy making lots of bubblegum to throw to the children."

The Christmas parade will begin at Second and Railroad streets at 7 p.m. Nov. 29, Mrs. Pyles said. In case of rain, the parade will be rescheduled for Dec. 6.

From the starting location, local bands, brownie troops, cheerleaders and others will travel to Adams Street where the parade will then turn onto Third Street before making its way to Center Street. The parade will disband at Fourth and Railroad streets, she said.

"This year’s parade will be about the same size as last year’s," Mrs. Pyles said. "I’ve tried to keep it full with no slack spots in it."

For more than 20 years, the IBA has organized Ironton’s Christmas parade, and members hope to continue the tradition, Mrs. Pyles said.

"It’s something we can give back to the community and the people to show them our gratefulness for their being in town and shopping here," she said.

Every year, the IBA tries to give children a safe holiday alternative.

Recently, the group held its annual Safe Trick-or-Treat, which was deemed a success with 100s of attendees.

"Children and love – that’s what Christmas is all about," Mrs. Pyles said. "And we’ve tried to include everything a child would like in the parade."

And that includes two llamas, Mrs. Pyles said.

"The children like animals," she said. "And the llamas are very docile and the children like to pet them before and after the parade. That’s why we’ve asked them to join us again this year."

There will be a few changes to the parade lineup, however, Mrs. Pyles added.

Santa and his elves will ride in a carriage this year, and Ironton’s new fire truck will make its way down the city streets, she said.

Following the parade, Ironton’s Christmas shopping season will spring to life, Mrs. Pyles added. Some stores will stay open later that evening and others will begin extended Christmas hours, she said.

The parade grand marshal has not yet been announced, Mrs. Pyles added.

In other business at the IBA monthly business meeting Tuesday, members:

– Discussed the final report on Ironmaster Days.

With expenses totaling more than $28,000 for the annual festival, organizers were proud to report that the festival only cost the IBA about $261, said Brent Pyles, treasurer.

"I think it was a much improved performance over the prior year," Pyles said. "And it outperformed what was expected. I think it did pretty good."

Plans for a year 2000 festival have not been discussed yet, Pyles added.

"It’s something the membership needs to look at," he said. "We need a greater sampling of the membership and we need to discuss who will take over the leadership of the committee. The festival is a big undertaking."

– Announced the date of the organization’s next After hours.

The event will be Dec. 14 at the city building, Mrs. Pyles said.