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Crowd, participants bundle up for South Berkeley Christmas Parade

December 07, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

INWOOD, W.Va. - Despite the blustery weather on Sunday afternoon, the 14th annual South Berkeley Christmas Parade was filled with about 212 entries, including Miss West Virginia 2008 Kayla Lynam and Girl Scout Troop 188, whose members were dressed as angels aboard their Spirit of Christmas float. 

Co-chairs Frank and Darla Rutherford have been organizing the Christmas celebration for 13 years, Darla Rutherford said. The events include the parade, a banquet and the tree-lighting celebration, which was held separately. 

Community member Ray Ring started the first parade after the high school football team won the state championship, she said.  

Rutherford said Ring, who is a prominent member of the community, wanted to start a yearly celebration, including the parade, which began at Musselman High School. 

Rutherford is the cafeteria manager at the high school and takes care of the inside activities, while Frank organizes the floats, she said. 

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Justin Trenary, a Musselman High School Band member, plays the cymbals. This is the second year the 10th- grader participated in the parade. He was dressed in layers to combat the cold.

"I'm looking for my gloves," he said before the event began. 

"I'm so glad to be here," said Lynam, who received her crown in June. 

She said it was much warmer when she participated in the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival in October in Martinsburg, W.Va. Like Trenary, she was wearing many layers of clothing in the parade. 

Lynam, of Short Gap, W.Va., has one semester left at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. She said she is looking forward to the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas on Jan. 24, during which she will play a classical music piece on the piano.  

Sam and Betty Hutsler were chosen as the 2008 South Berkeley citizens. They were getting bundled up to ride in a 1968 red Chevrolet convertible. 

"It's a real honor," Betty Hutsler said. "We have both lived in the South Berkeley community our whole lives. Everything we both ever wanted is right here in South Berkeley." 

Girl Scout Troop 188 has 31 members, said Troop leader Michelle Hopple, and 19 participated in the parade. 

Fighting the wind, Hopple was trying to get the members dressed in their all-white angel garments, complete with wings and halos. They were wearing many layers, she said. 

Rutherford said about 1,000 people attend the parade, but not many were sitting on the bleachers. 

Rena Downs and family members were bundled up against the wind and finger-numbing cold. She said the bleachers were the best place from which to watch the performances.  

Downs said it looked like the crowd was smaller this year, but "people will support this community even in cold weather."  

The parade route was lined with parked vehicles facing the road, and many people sat inside them.

 

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