A clear, sunny day led to what Perrysburg Mayor Nelson Evans said was one of the best turnouts for the holiday parade he has seen.
Louisiana Avenue was filled shoulder-to-shoulder Sunday afternoon with hundreds of families taking in the Home for the Holidays parade presented by Downtown Perrysburg Inc.
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After the parade was a tree-lighting ceremony at Hood Park.
Abby Davis, 11, sat eagerly before the parade started with bag open, waiting for her favorite — the candy tossed by parade participants.
“It’s a good turnout,” her mother Susan Davis said. “It is a good day, I’ve sat out here for this in rain and snow.”
Unlike some of the visitors, she was attending no matter the weather because her son Ethan was performing with the Perrysburg High School marching band.
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Joe and Meredith Carver of Monclova brought their two boys because the weather was so nice, they said. The family of four had a great spot to watch, parked on Louisiana Avenue sitting in the back of their SUV with the tailgate up.
“The kids are excited to see Santa and get candy,” Mr. Carver said. “It’s nice to be here after shopping and eating all weekend.”
Kolton Voyame, 5, of Sylvania looked like he had been trick-or-treating with the amount of candy he and his friends collected. Kolton shouted with excitement that the Clydesdale horses were his favorite.
The Clydesdales were a big hit, along with Santa, student clubs, scout troops, nine local fire trucks, and Perrysburg Christians United, which collected food for the needy.
Mayor Evans said it was his last parade as mayor, because his final mayoral term ends Dec. 31.
“It is really neat during parades when the community gets together like this,” he said. “It gives people the chance to stop the hustle and bustle and start the season.”
Perrysburg Municipal Judge S. Dwight Osterud led off the parade as the grand marshal. He is retiring at the end of the month after 24 years as municipal judge in the city.
“It was fun,” he said of the seven-block parade. “It was great to have the Court Explorers [club] join me and my wife. We saw a lot of folks we know.” He helped establish the Law and Government Explorers post in 2001. The Explorers post exposes high school students to the court and other government work.
Before the tree was lit in Hood Park, fifth and sixth-grade junior jazz students performed Christmas carols and danced.
“It was a perfect day for a parade,” said Rick Thielen, executive director for Downtown Perrysburg Inc. “We lucked out.”