Celebration welcoming spring weathers chill

PARKERSBURG – Despite temperatures more suitable for winter, more than 100 people gathered Tuesday evening for what organizers hope will become a new tradition for the Parkersburg community, the first Spring-Easter Celebration at Parkersburg High School.

Event coordinator Kiki Angelos said she is hoping to capitalize on the success of PHS’s longtime annual Christmas tree lighting event by starting a new event at the school.

Tuesday’s program culminated with the lighting of a giant Easter basket with the words “Happy Spring” to one side of the school’s main entrance. There was music from the PHS Big Red Band Brass Ensemble, the Salvation Army Children’s Choir and the Celebrate Recovery Worship Team.

Meredith Woodburn of Parkersburg brought her 3-year-old-twin daughters, Addison and Peyton, to watch Tuesday’s lighting.

“I really enjoyed it. I thought everyone did a spectacular job,” said Woodburn, who hopes to see the program become an annual event. “I loved all of the music incorporated in it and all of the energy.”

Angelos has long had a strong interest in this time of year.

“Easter is such an important holiday,” she said. “It is a beautiful time of year with everything in bloom and warmer weather.”

Over the past four years, she helped create and organize the Mid-Ohio Valley Easter Parade, which was held Saturday on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg. Angelos said the success of that event and the positive responses from the community helped encourage her to work on the Spring-Easter Celebration.

She worked closely with school officials, including PHS Principal Pam Goots, to organize Tuesday’s events and bring everything together for the display and ceremony.

The lighted basket can be seen from Dudley Avenue. Next year, Angelos said she would like to have another lighted display on the other side of the main entrance to balance the exhibit.

Following the lighting, the program ended with members of the PHS Red Wings and Key Club handing out Easter eggs to the children in attendance.

Angelos said the display will remain in place for the next two weeks, through Easter Sunday and next week during Wood County Schools’ spring break. After that, it will be taken down and stored in anticipation of next year’s Easter holiday, she said.