West End winter wonderland

Parade goes off despite snowstorm


Hundreds braved the snowstorm on Saturday, Dec. 14, to line the streets of the West End and watch the Electric Light Parade.

The parade was the culminating event of the “Winter Wonderland” day, designed to draw residents and visitors alike down to the West End to support local business.

Surfing Santa was on hand at Swingbelly’s, which was also the start and finish of the Elf Crawl. The new event sent kids on a scavenger hunt through the West End, looking for things like reindeer feed and candy for Santa at different West End shops. Kelly Sullivan, one of the event organizers, said that over 60 kids participated in the crawl, and all earned a pair of elf ears for finishing.

After the crawl, the Electric Light Parade took over West Beech Street, and Sullivan said people came pouring out of restaurants and houses to watch. The parade started at Nevada Avenue and marched down to New York Avenue. Pipers played and cars and floats were decorated in lights and holiday decorations — and blanketed in snow. Swingbelly’s had its mascot pig ride on its float, and the Saloon made a Happy Feet float, with kids dressed up as penguins.

Sullivan said she was surprised at how many people came out in the snow, and that the first year of the parade was a great success, especially since it was put together with little notice.

“It’s definitely someone we want to do next year, and hope to get more people involved and be even better,” she said.