File photo from a previous Christmas parade on Main Street in Buckhannon.
File photo from a previous Christmas parade on Main Street in Buckhannon.

Want to see Santa and sip hot chocolate? City fire department, SUBA Christmas parades to return after 2020 hiatus

BUCKHANNON – The City of Buckhannon and the community of Rock Cave are getting in festive spirits by bringing back their respective Christmas parades after both were canceled in 2020.

Buckhannon fire chief J.B. Kimble said the city parade will take place Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. The parade will line up at Wendy’s, travel down Main Street, go by the Stockert Youth & Community Center and end at the Buckhannon Fire Department on South Florida Street.

“People can show up and at the lineup; there’s no need to register or anything,” Kimble said.

The fire chief emphasized the parade’s focus is supplying local kids with some good old-fashioned fun.

“There’s no political stances, and we provide the only Santa we need,” Kimble said. “Santa Claus will be there on the fire truck like every year, and then we’re leaving it up to Santa as to whether he wants people to come in the firehouse or whether we’re going to Jawbone, depending on COVID numbers, for pictures and hot chocolate.”

He said the majority of the county’s seven fire departments will be participating, as well as the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Band and several community and civic organizations.

“We’ve always done the parade and the police department always did the Trunk or Treat,” Kimble said. “We just want you to show up and have a good time. I always tell people that it’s about the kids — it’s not about me, it’s not about adults, it’s about the kids.”

President of the Southern Upshur Business Association Kevin Campbell said the Rock Cave Christmas parade will line up the following day, Saturday, Dec. 4, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and the parade will start at noon. Participants will line up at Rock Cave Elementary School and end at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department.

“The parade will end at the front of the building, but people will go around the corner, so they are behind the station,” Campbell said. “One of the first vehicles in the parade is going to be a school bus that’s decorated, and when it gets behind the fire station, they’re going to set up and serve hot chocolate and cookies.”

Santa will also make an appearance on top of a fire truck, but kids will not be able to sit on his lap and tell him their Christmas wishes due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

“We’re glad that that we could do it,” Campbell said. “When COVID went back to orange at the beginning of November, we canceled it and then we got a lot of public outcry because these twirling groups don’t get a lot of chances to perform for Grandma and Grandpa. I don’t know how many fire trucks will be in it, but I know EMS has planned to participate. I believe the first car in the parade will be the sheriff as usual and then we will have the [Upshur County] Honor Guard and then a school bus, the marching band and then whoever wants to join in.”

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