December 13, 2013 9:50:14 AM
Come rain or shine, the shows will go on this weekend.
Main Street Columbus director Barbara Bigelow said this morning that plans for the rescheduled Downtown Wassail Fest and the Columbus Christmas Parade will go on despite the weather.
This year's Wassail Fest was originally scheduled for Dec. 7 but rescheduled for tonight because of heavy rains. The Christmas Parade was moved from Dec. 2 until Saturday to accommodate an appearance by the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.
Bigelow is nervously watching the weather forecast, which calls for rain Friday and Saturday.
Fortunately, says Bigelow, the prospects of dry weather are promising.
"I'm watching the National Weather Service and WCBI," Bigelow said, "and it looks as though the rain will move in late tonight and be gone by 1 or 2 tomorrow afternoon. That would be fine with us."
Wassail Fest is scheduled today from 5-8 p.m. while Saturday's parade begins at 5:30 p.m.
Bigelow said the impact of changing the dates for Wassail Fest have been minimal.
"We have 25 participating merchants," she said. "We did lose one merchant, which had a conflict, but other than that, it's worked out O.K. We made the decision to cancel early enough so that the merchants had not started their major preparations. Some of them begin work on preparations a day or two before the event."
Magnolia Directory will offer a promotion in connection with the Wassail Fest. Anyone attending Wassail Fest is encouraged to take a photo of themselves at the event and post it to either the Magnolia Directory or Main Street Columbus' Facebook page. A drawing for a $100 gift certificate from participating merchants will be held from among the posted photos.
As for the Christmas parade, Bigelow said the response to the move to Saturday from the traditional Monday parade is something she will be watching closely.
"The reason for the change was not about the day of the week, but since we announced the parade will be on Saturday, I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and said they liked the idea of having the parade on a Saturday," Bigelow said. "For a lot of people, a Monday parade means a big rush, with the kids coming home from school, parents getting off work, having dinner and getting downtown in time to get a good spot. On the other end, the next day is a school day, so that can be a problem, too."
Saturday's parade will be a good trial run for a possible move to a Saturday date in the future.
"Maybe it's more convenient to have it on Saturday," Bigelow said. "We'll see."
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is email@example.com.
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