CHARLES TOWN and RANSON – Jefferson County families won’t be able to gather to see Santa during this year’s annual Christmas parade through downtown Charles Town and Ranson.

The annual joint municipal parade is canceled this year to avoid congregating crowds and continue physical distancing during the ongoing virus outbreak.

But keep the cheer! Santa Claus is still coming to town on Saturday, Dec. 5.

He’ll be riding all through the neighborhoods in the sister cities on a red fire-truck sleigh, quite possibly on a street near you.

Mrs. Claus and Santa’s sidekick Frosty—and possibly other characters—promise to escort the jolly old elf along the way.

Municipal mayors and council members from Charles Town and Ranson will tag along in the roving neighborhood parade to help spread some seasonal cheer and goodwill.

The parade will begin at noon in downtown Charles Town—after Santa first arrives on the roof of United Bank. Likely fattened up for the winter holidays and decked in his traditional red and white-trimmed working-wardrobe for Christmas Eve, St. Nick will hop on an Independent Fire Company rescue truck to make his neighborhood rounds through both cities.

Maps of his magical route through Ranson and Charles Town will be posted on the Facebook pages of both municipalities.

Of course, Santa doesn’t want to overlook anybody, naughty or nice. So for families living on streets where Santa can’t swing by, he’ll make an extended stop at Washington High so families can participate in a drive-by greeting to catch that twinkle in his eye.

Santa is projected to arrive at the high school at about 4 p.m.

“We know this [parade] will look different, but our holiday spirit is still alive and well,” wrote Mayors Bob Trainor and Keith “Duke” Pierson in a joint announcement for the event. “Our cities are happy to unite our community this holiday season because we are, in fact, all in this together.”

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