SALEM, W.Va. – The City of Salem held its fifth annual Christmas parade in downtown Salem on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m.

A ton of community organizations were featured in the parade, along with Santa Claus himself. The parade line-up, with around 40 float entries, began at 5 p.m. on the Valley of Learning by City Hall. They then drove through Main Street and ended at the Salem Depot. After the parade, families, friends and even Santa Claus stopped at the Salem Depot for cookies, hot chocolate, caroling and piano performances.

Dianna Samples, Chamber of Commerce treasurer, helped get the ball rolling for the decorations and after-parade events. Along with other volunteers, Samples made the newly developed depot look like it was out of a hallmark movie. Many organizations put out Christmas trees along the trail to help decorate and remember those who were lost. Samples even held a lunch before the parade for all the volunteers and employees that helped make the Christmas festivities possible. She said, “for three years, with COVID and everything, everybody’s just dragging, you know? So let’s bring it back, so that’s what we did.”

One of the White House ornaments (WBOY Image)

The inside of the depot was also decorated for the Christmas season. There was a tree set up that was decorated in gold ornaments, which included 23 ornaments dating back through the years from the white house itself. Salem librarian, Tim Jamison, also helped with the decorating. He had mentioned that doing these type of events, and decorating for the holiday season, brings in a lot of people. Jamison said that since he has been in the new library location, back in Sept. 29, he has had 380 visitors. This was compared to the 90 he had at the old library, where he worked for a year and half.

When something becomes a tradition, it tends to be carried on not only by those who started it, but those who also fell in love with the joy these annual events bring. City of Salem mayor, Bobby Samples, told 12 News why he feels it is important to keep this parade tradition. He said, “well, I think it is important to let people come together and celebrate Christmas. I think that’s very important, and to know the real meaning of Christmas.”