We are just days away from the annual Perkins Restaurant and Bakery Fantasy in Lights Parade presented by Wheeling Hospital.
A pair of grand marshals for the parade were announced on Wednesday.
Rich Donnelly is a Steubenville native and is best known for his 11-year stint with the Pirates from 1986 to 1996. He was also a coach for the 1997 World Series Champion Florida Marlins.
In the past, Donnelly has grand marshaled the Steubenville parade, but this will be his first time EVER attending the Wheeling parade.
Donnelly’s co-grand marshal is Dr. William Mercer, a Wheeling-Ohio County Health Officer.
Mercer grew up in Warwood and has fond memories of the Wheeling parade.
“This is pretty special to me. My father, Lorne Mercer, was the band director at Warwood and I can remember when I was a little kid, the Christmas parade was an event,” Dr. Mercer remembers. “We always went to that and I enjoyed seeing my Dad and the band march. Then I was in the Warwood band myself, got to march in the parade. And then we had our kids, my wife and I would take them to the parade and watch it.”
Along with his medical work, Dr. William Mercer oversees the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department’s Project HOPE, which provides support to homeless people in the county.
You can watch live coverage of the parade on Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m. on WTRF CBS.