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Ironton Christmas parade Monday

Lou Pyles is hoping for a little snow this Monday.

Even if she doesn't get her wish, she said this year's Ironton Christmas Parade is a great start to the Christmas season.

"This event is an open invitation for people to come into our town to visit," she said.

At 7 p.m. Monday night, the streets of Ironton will be filled with marching bands, veterans, cheerleaders, floats and many others for the city's Christmas parade.

For more than 20 years, the Ironton Business Association has been organizing the parade. Lou Pyles has been in charge between six to eight of those years.

This year will be the first year awards will be given for floats -- one will be a Grand Marshal's award and the other is the People's Choice award. The latter award will be the judges' determination of what float the public seems to like the best.

The Grand Marshal itself will make history. Instead of an individual, the Liebert Corporation was given the position. This is the first time this has been given to a business.

"Liebert does so much for our community by supplying jobs and giving back to the community," Pyles said. "The associates work hard to do their part to make the community better."

Mayor Bob Cleary was also pleased with the decision.

"Liebert is the best corporate neighbor any community could have," he said. "If we were to go away from an individual, I couldn't think of a better corporation."

Pyles has been organizing the parade since September, and she said she believes that the parade will be much better than previous ones.

Instead of a sleigh with reindeer, Santa will be in a horse-drawn carriage with horses owned by Robin and Ralph Hale of Ashland, Ky. Pyles said this is because it is not likely Santa will have enough snow to pull his sleigh.

She also hopes the parade will help children, and possibly adults, believe in Santa Claus as long as possible. This is why the identity of the actor playing the large man in the red suit is strictly confidential, she said.

"Some people have figured it out, but I'll never tell," she said. "I want to keep the Christmas spirit alive, even for adults. It's a good way for them to get away from all their problems and worries."

Parade Line-Up

DIVISION 1

Second and Railroad Streets

Commanders

Frank McCown

Jan Wisenberger

Sharon Walker

VFW Post 8850 Color Guard

Parade Banner

Ironton High School Marching Band

Grand Marshal -- Liebert Corporation

Ironton Business Association President -- Mark Compston

Mayor Bob Cleary

Cyndi's School of Dance

Ironton Junior Varsity Cheerleaders

Hecla Water Association Float

Open Door School Bell Choir

DIVISION 2

Railroad Street behind the first division

Commanders

Richard Walton

Bob Blankenship

South Point High School Marching Band

South Point After-School Program

Ponderosa Restaurant float

Girl Scout Troop 1258 and 1290

Yvonne DeKay School of Dance

WTCR Radio truck

Check Advance car and mascot

DIVISION 3

Fourth Street beside Post Office

Commanders

Kathleen Patrick

Carl Bowen

Rock Hill High School Marching Band

B 97.1 Station truck and mascot

Rock Hill Elementary Girl Scouts

Rock Hill Middle School Cheerleaders

Teeny Miss Flame -- Shelby Daton

Ohio Association Youth Group

St. Joseph High School Cheerleaders

DIVISION 4

Fourth Street, in front of Wendy's

Commanders

Sue Lunsford

Carolyn Littner

Ohio University Southern Activity Band

Lawrence County Recycling and Litter Prevention Program

Miss May -- Leslie Dawn Cade

Little Miss America Tribute -- Savannah Bowen

Rock Hill Girl Scouts

Coal Grove Little League Cheerleaders

DIVISION 5

Fourth and Railroad Streets to Fifth and Railroad Streets

Commanders

Jason Stephens

Les Boggs

Portsmouth Ambulance Service

Military Order of Purple Heart, Lawrence County 765

Pageant Queen -- Brianna Dawn Diamond

Collins Career Center Public Safety Vehicle

Rock Hill Homecoming Queen -- Anna Spears

Ironton Fire Department

DIVISION 6

One Stop lot

Santa and his Helpers

Jesse Roberts

Stephanie Roberts

Brent Pyles

Dee Moore

Eddie Collins

Lou Pyles