Thousands in downtown Youngstown bring in the season with holiday parade

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Lining the parade route in downtown Youngstown Friday evening were 4,000 people to watch it all.

The Youngstown Police Department led the Christmas parade into Central Square, followed closely behind by a group of veterans.

The highlight of this year’s parade was the seven high school marching bands — West Branch, Ursuline, Wellsville, United Local, East, East Liverpool, and Lakeview.

“This is the first time we’ve done this and, honestly, so far, it’s cold but I can see it being a lot of fun,” said Lakeview student Adam Ruiter.

Home Savings and Loan paid to bring the bands to Youngstown. The company also had one of the two largest floats at 28 feet long. Eastern Gateway Community College had the other.

Both Mayor John McNally and Mayor-elect Tito Brown were part of the celebration.

Ballet Western Reserve performed and members of the Youngstown State Alumni Association all dressed like Pete.

“Parade was great. This was my first time down here and I had a wonderful time,” said Michele Olin, of Boardman. “It was a good time and we’re going to go down and party some more.”

On the other hand, Hubbard’s Tina Smith comes every year.

“I’ve never seen so many people here, though,” she said.

Aaron Lucas, of New Castle, said he wasn’t surprised by the crowd that showed up.

“It’s a good family community. I mean, I love living here.”

The parade ended with Santa Claus being pulled by a horse-drawn sleigh. The night wrapped up with the lighting of the Christmas tree.