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Erik Estrada, Rev. Darrell Cummings, Kathie Brown Named Fantasy in Lights Parade Grand Marshals

Posted 11/06/21

WHEELING — Two well-respected community servants in Wheeling will lead the Main Street Bank Fantasy in Lights Christmas Parade next week — as will a 1970s television star.

Erik Estrada, best known for his role as motorcycle riding cop “Ponch” on CHIPS, will be grand marshal for the parade. Also tapped as grand marshals are the Rev. Darrell Cummings and Kathie Brown, executive director of Wheeling Health Right.

The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce is once again organizing the event.

The parade is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, and will take its traditional route, according to Del. Erikka Storch, R-Ohio, also chamber president. The march will begin on the Market Street side of West Virginia Northern Community College near 16th Street, make a left on Market Street at 10th Street to Main Street, then proceed south along Main Street back toward 16th Street.

Last year, amid COVID, the Chamber made plans to shorten the parade route. The parade was later canceled a week prior to its scheduled date.

Storch said this year’s parade should be able to proceed as usual despite construction happening on downtown streets.

“We have been constantly in contact with the contractor,” she said. “The way it looks now, we hope everything should be ready. We are anticipating it will.”

But there may be some steel plates placed in some areas along the parade route, and the contractor is “trying to get in with concrete in other areas to make more stable surfaces,” according to Storch.

She said members of the West Liberty University baseball team will be positioned at spots along the route as the parade takes place to report if there are any hazards on the roadway.

There were not as many applicants wanting to be in the parade this year as there have been in the past, Storch said. Some who typically participate have informed the chamber they weren’t submitting an application because of COVID concerns, but that they plan to do so again in 2022, she said.

Storch assured there still are enough applicants this year to provide a 90-minute parade.

Source: The Intelligencer. Wheeling News-Register, Joselyn King, 11/06/2021
Photo: U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-West Virginia, right, gives The Rev. Darrell Cummings of Wheeling a tour of his office prior to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address in Washington.