Thousands attend Youngstown Holiday Parade - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Thousands attend Youngstown Holiday Parade

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

It's only the start of December, but downtown Youngstown was filled with holiday spirit Friday night as thousands flocked to Federal Street for the annual Holiday Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting. 

It was a fun night of festivities and a chance for the city to show how downtown Youngstown is coming alive.

Michael McGiffin, Director of Downtown Events and Special Projects for the city calls it his favorite night of the year.

"The community setting is just totally alive, people are in a great mood and the whole downtown community comes together and helps plan ancillary events which ends up creating this monster night with tons of things to do."

One of the highlights of the parade was the fact 7 high school marching bands participated. It was all thanks to the sponsorship of this year's Grand Marshal - Home Savings and Loan.

"When my wife and I were driving away from last year's parade we said that was great, how can we make it better, we thought bands. We threw down the gauntlet and folks responded," said Gary Small, President and CEO of Home Savings and Loan.

Santa Claus even made an appearance.

After the parade, the official Youngstown Christmas tree was lit.

The festivities didn't stop there. For those that wanted to shop, there was the Youngstown Flea at the DeYor Performing Arts Center. For the kids, a chance to explore the OH WOW! museum free of charge. The Wizard of Oz movie was playing and The Vindy's played Christmas music on the main stage. 

While everyone was in a festive mood and it was a chance to have some fun, this was also about showing off what all downtown Youngstown has to offer.

"This is why we're in business. The business of events and entertainment is here literally just to create growth for all the downtown businesses. It's to put new money, visitors money, tourist dollars into our system. it's to showcase to our families that this business is here that you might not have noticed or this restaurant is here you should try it, it's a giant commercial for our downtown and our city area," said McGiffin.

The parade featured 50 total units and 9 floats. Gary Small says he's already thinking of ways to make it bigger and better next year. 

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