WEIRTON — The Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce made sure Saturday was a sweet experience for everyone gathered for this year’s Weirton Christmas Parade.

“Candyland Christmas” was the theme for the evening festivities, with gingerbread men, peppermint candies and more mingled in with some of the traditional sights and sounds of Christmas.

“That was probably the best parade we’ve had in years,” Chamber President Brenda Mull said following the grand finale fireworks display which brought the activity to a close. “It was a great turnout and a great success.”

Sponsored by Nick’s Auto and West Virginia Northern Community College, the parade featured well over 70 entries, including performances by local dance schools and marching bands, colorful floats provided by many area businesses, a variety of vehicles covered in lights and characters from the Candyland board game joining many of the traditional holiday favorites.

Nick’s Auto has been a long-time sponsor of the Weirton Christmas Parade, also offering vehicles to assist in towing many of the floats. Jodie Snodgrass noted it’s one way the business is able to give back to the businesses and residents of the area.

LIGHTING THE WAY – First Choice America Community Credit Union was one of many area businesses taking part in this year’s Weirton Christmas Parade, with a float full of employees and their families. — Craig Howell

“The community always supports us, and this is a way we can show our gratitude,” Snodgrass said.

Lisa Soly, of West Virginia Northern Community College, noted the spirit which spreads through the community as the holiday season kicks off with the parade and other festivities.

“West Virginia Northern is proud to be part of the Weirton community,” Soly said. “The parade is always an enjoyable evening to come together.”

Grand marshals for Saturday’s parade were Sweet Temptations, Best You Boutique and the City of Weirton; all nominees for “WV Living” magazine’s Best of the Best contest.

In addition to the parade sponsors, the chamber was supported by numerous area businesses contributing toward the fireworks display. Those included Summer’s Enterprise as the grand finale sponsor; Dee Jay’s BBQ Ribs and Grille, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sewickley, Hancock County Savings Bank, Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Nick’s Auto Sales and Window World as firecracker sponsors; and Best You Boutique, Lauttamus Communications and Security, Mario’s Restaurant and Lounge and Weirton Rental Center as sparkler sponsors.

SURF’S UP – The John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center brought a little sunshine to the holidays, with a beach-inspired entry for Saturday’s Weirton Christmas Parade. — Craig Howell

“Thank you to our sponsors and also all the people on our committees,” Mull said. “A special thank you to Stephanie O’Brien and Joyia Lytle for their creativity in bringing a true Candyland atmosphere to the parade.”