WHEELING – It’s that time of year again. The Main Street Bank Fantasy In Lights Parade is back in Wheeling tonight.

The Wheeling Christmas parade will kick off at 6pm but WTRF’s coverage of the parade will begin on WTRF.com at 6:30 pm.

WTRF is the only way to watch the parade if you can’t make it in person.

The Main Street Bank Fantasy In Lights Parade will not take its traditional route through downtown Wheeling this year.

The route will be seven-tenths of a mile, the same length as last year.

“The construction downtown is right in the middle of where the parade route would be,” explained Bill Bryson, event chairman. “Even where last year’s reduced route turned at 12th Street, it would not work. Construction is right there. We’re not going to be able to use the downtown streets.”

Parade units this year will gather and stage in Center Wheeling as always, but instead of going north, they’ll go south.

The parade will turn north on Main Street in the area of The Teacher’s Store.

The parade will go up to 20th Street where it will turn right and finish at 20th and Market.

Michael McKenry, a former Pittsburgh Pirate, also known as “The Fort McKenry” will be this year’s  Grand Marshall.

Also, this year, Centre Market is staying open later.

In previous years, the lineup for the parade happened near Centre Market, and they would stay open a little later. But this year, with the route change, Centre Market wanted to make a point to keep all of the small businesses within the market open until at least 7 p.m. to allow paradegoers to see everything Wheeling has to offer.  

Regarding the weather for the parade, an umbrella, poncho, or even a waterproof jacket will be necessary to attend this year’s parade. Our Stormtracker 7 teams says Predictor has the leading edge of rainfall moving through the Ohio Valley in the early afternoon Friday and continuing through the night.

Most roads will be closed around Centre Market around 5:30 pm. Know before you go and prepare where to park

(Video shows top stories for November 17, 2023)