Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 2, 2012

Coalfield Christmas parades plentiful in region

BLUEWELL — Ron Martin, owner of Grant’s Supermarkets was excited to serve as grand marshal of the Bluewell Christmas Parade.

“This is the first time I’ve served as the grand marshal of anything,” Martin said with a smile. “It’s a big honor for me. I grew up right outside of Bluewell and I worked at Warden’s Market for seven or eight years. I consider this an honor.”

Martin led the way, followed by a float honoring a long-departed historic institution in the Brushfork-Bluewell area, the Skyland Drive-in Theater. The Bluewell parade featured several equestrian units, antique vehicles and emergency units filled the South View Mall parking lot prior to the start of the parade.

But the Bluewell Christmas Parade was just one of the exciting parades taking place on Saturday. The Montcalm High School marching band led the way for the start of the Bramwell Christmas Parade on Saturday morning. Along with the MHS Band, a few floats as well as several antique vehicles participated in the parade.

“This is just a beautiful day for a parade,” U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said after serving as grand marshal of the Bramwell Christmas Parade — an event that marked his sixth Mercer County visit since his re-election to the House on Nov. 6.

“The spirit and enthusiasm of the people here in Bramwell is just great,” Rahall said. “A parade like this really sets the mood for Christmas.”

Most of the emergency units in the Bramwell parade followed the MHS Band on River Road to prepare for the Montcalm Christmas Parade at noon. In the mean time, folks in the McDowell County town of Kimball were holding a Christmas Parade, while folks lined the streets of Virginia’s Tallest Town, for the Bluefield, Va., Christmas Parade.

“I just think the band makes a Christmas parade, and the Graham High School Band sounds so good today,” Barbara Bates said as she and her husband Ben Bates stood in College Avenue, watching the parade continue down Virginia Avenue.

“I was going to decorate my truck a little more, but I didn’t,” John Monaco said as he opened the door of his 1963 Volkswagen Transporter Truck. Monaco has garage-kept the vintage VW for 30 years.

“I may be able to decorate it a little more for the Bluefield Christmas Parade next Saturday,” he said.

Some of the units in the Bluefield, Va., parade wee planning to participate in the Pocahontas Christmas Parade later Saturday evening.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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