It takes a village to stage a parade

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For the past several years, Washington’s Christmas parade has grown increasingly larger and attracted bigger and more enthusiastic crowds. At 95 units, the parade that begins at 7 o’clock tonight will be the longest yet.


But there’s more than the parade. A model train display will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. off the lobby of the George Washington hotel, where the Washington Rotary Club will be serving hot chocolate and cookies. Tree of Life Church on North Main Street and St. Paul A.M.E. Church on Ridge Avenue also will be serving refreshments. And this year, there’s an opportunity to shop for unusual gifts and at the same time support local senior citizens as well as artisans in Third World countries.


Volunteers are staffing a temporary Ten Thousand Villages market in the lower South Main Street entrance to the George Washington. The shop will be open from noon until 8 p.m. today and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.


Handmade goods from 38 countries will be on sale. The proceeds help pay for food, education, health care and housing for the artisans who would otherwise have little or no work. And 10 percent of the proceeds will go to the Washington Senior Citizens Center.


Washington’s Christmas parade is more than entertainment; it’s a chance to show support for senior citizens, fair trade, the parade participants and for the city itself.


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