Perrysburg has been Doris Currie’s hometown for 40 years, so she is a reliable judge of city events like Sunday’s Home for the Holidays parade.
“We get a good attendance at most events,” she said.
Indeed, many folks bundled up in the chilly November weather and thronged the sidewalks in the historic downtown area. Some had come quite far from their homes.
Nan Otto, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, in Huron County, had come to watch daughter Jennifer, 12, participate in the parade with the Dance Factory.
Her son R.J., 8, sat on the curb wearing an elf hat the family discovered among their Christmas decorations.
“We put up the tree last night, [and] he’s been wearing it ever since,” Ms. Otto said.
She said it is especially heart-warming when her two eldest children come home from college for the holidays.
“I miss them very much,” she said.
Perrysburg Mayor Nelson Evans said the parade’s theme brought out family togetherness.
“A sense of comfort, familiarity, the fact that you know everyone,” he said.
Todd Haggard brought his family from Toledo to collect candy and wave at Santa Claus. His wife, Haley, said they tried to watch the Maumee parade the previous day but were deterred by chilly temperatures.
They arrived early Sunday afternoon to secure a prime spot at the intersection of Louisiana Avenue and Second Street. Children Elias and Isla huddled under blankets in their red wagon, an essential piece of equipment on the area parade circuit.
“It’s always in the trunk,” Mr. Haggard said.
Family spirit warmed Clara Obee, 73, of Perrysburg, who came to the parade to cheer for granddaughter Alexa Camp and the rest of her state-championship teammates on Perrysburg High School's varsity girls soccer team, who served as grand marshals.
“I’ve gone to every game but two,” she said from under a parka hood and scarf her husband had tucked over her ears.
Bella Kimble, 3, of Bowling Green came for the marching bands.
She especially likes baton twirlers.
“They flip it in the sky!” she said, throwing her tiny arms up to demonstrate.
Parade sponsor Downtown Perrysburg Inc. handed out free hot chocolate and candy canes.
Some of the crowd dispersed for the warmth of home after the marchers passed, but others headed to Hood Park to celebrate the illumination of the tall evergreen tree there.
Jack Wellstein, 7, of Perrysburg might have been the coziest kid in the park.
He was still dressed in his trusty squirrel costume, which he wore in the parade as he marched from the starting point at his school, Toth Elementary.
His family said he is nuts about squirrels and has worn the outfit for several years now, whether it be Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any old day of the week.
“Every single time,” Jack confirmed.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at: 419-356-8786, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.