Members of the Bowling Green State University gymnastic team volunteer last week, pruning 20 pine trees that will decorate 38 pots located throughout downtown. The team had 27 members lending a hand to the Downtown BG Special Improvement District and the Downtown Foundation. The tree lighting and parade kick off the season Friday and Saturday.

J.D. Pooley | Sentinel-Tribune

The holidays will kick off in Bowling Green on Friday with the annual tree lighting, followed by the parade on Saturday.

The tree lighting will take place in front of the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., on Friday, with the prelude starting at 6:45 pm.

This event will showcase appearances from Julie’s Dance Studio, the Bowling Green High School Madrigals, Mayor Mike Aspacher and other special guests.

Bring children before 6:35 p.m. if they would like to hear a holiday story read to them. Refreshments will be provided by Biggby Coffee, Qdoba and Kabob It. Donations of nonperishable food items and personal products will be accepted on behalf of Brown Bag Food Project. Afterwards, everyone is invited inside the library for a performance by the Madrigals.

West Court Street, between Main Street and City Parking Lot 4, will be closed between 5:15 and 8 p.m. on Friday. Access to parking lots will be maintained throughout the street closure. On-street parking restrictions will be imposed on North Main Street between Oak and Court streets and on Oak Street.

In conjunction with the holiday parade on Saturday, several Bowling Green streets will be closed and on-street parking will be prohibited in many downtown locations. The parade is scheduled to begin at approximately 9:50 a.m., with the first parade float reaching Main and Wooster streets at approximately 10 a.m. The parade will again be aired on WTOL-TV.

Main Street, from Poe to Napoleon roads, and Wooster Street, from Prospect and Church streets, will be closed from 8:30 a.m. until the end of the parade. This closure will also impact traffic flow on streets that intersect with Main between Poe and Napoleon. These side streets will also close at approximately 8:30 am. In addition, side streets between Poe and Ridge Street will be utilized for parade preparations from approximately 8:30 am until 11 a.m. During this time, access to these side streets will be limited to local use.

A truck detour route will be posted.

Parking during the parade will be prohibited on Main between Ridge and Pearl streets. Vehicles must be removed from Main Street prior to 3 a.m. on Saturday. Any vehicle parked on Main after 3 a.m. will be towed at the owner’s expense.

On-street parking will also be prohibited in the following locations:

· Dixie Avenue between South Main and Kenwood

· South Church between Sand Ridge and Pearl

· Clay between North Church and North Grove

· North Grove between Wooster and Poe

· South Prospect between Clough and Napoleon

Parking will be reinstated on Main Street and other locations after the parade clean-up. All roads impacted by these closures will reopen as soon as possible upon completion of the parade.

This year’s Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce holiday parade theme is “Toys, Trains & Candy Canes.”

The chamber and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Foundation organize the parade, along with presenting sponsors, including the City of Bowling Green, Bowling Green State University and Wood County Hospital. Other major sponsors this year include Ohio Logistics, Visit BG Ohio, American Warming and Ventilating and VFW Post 1148.

The first unit will step off at 9:50 a.m. from Dill St. followed by an additional twelve streets of units. The first parade unit is expected at the Four Corners of Main and Wooster streets as the live broadcast with WTOL-TV begins at 10 a.m. Ryan Wichman and Caylee Kirby will provide the commentary during the live broadcast.

When selecting where to view the parade, keep in mind that the prime viewing area is in the downtown blocks from Ridge to Washington streets. Main and Wooster streets will close at 8:30 a.m. to allow for 30 feet of bleachers to be brought in to provide an excellent view right at the Four Corners.

Grand Marshall will be Bowling Green Mayor Mike Aspacher and the Honorary Grand Marshall will be Floyd Craft. Craft is being honored in this year’s parade for all of his contributions to the Bowling Green community.

The anticipated lineup of the participating units includes eight area high school bands including the Bowling Green High School Band under the direction of Bruce Corrigan, the Bowling Green State University Marching Band, performing units, floats, recognition of award winners, community leaders and organizations.

The parade lineup:

BG Police Division

Zeus Award Recipient

Ohio State Highway Patrol

BG American Legion Post 45

Grand Marshall – Mayor Mike Aspacher

Honorary Grand Marshall

BG Public Works – Snow Plows

Wood County Hospital

BGSU Spirit Program

BGSU – President Rodney Rogers

BGSU Faculty Association

BGSU Marching Band

Fraternal Order of Police

WTOL 11 Defender

State Senator Theresa Gavarone

WC Commissioners

BG Christian Academy

Athena Award Recipient

Jerome Rollers

Knights of Columbus

The Beat Dance Company

Bowling Green City Schools

Wood County Young Democrats

Sylvania Twirling Stars

BG Pedal Company

Call of the Canyon Café & Catering

League of Women Voters BG

Van Buren Black Knight Marching Band

Falcon Outfitters

Farmers & Merchants State Bank

The Voices of Harmony Barbershop Chorus

Bowling Green Manor

The Morning Show

Ohio Department of Transportation

Elmwood Marching Band

Bowling Green Kiwanis

Wood County District Public Library

Cousino Restoration

Sleek Academy

Wood Haven Healthcare

Otsego High School Marching Band

Maith/Bubiko and Her Buckeye Blimp

National Tractor Pulling Championships

NWO Montessori

WC Board of Developmental Disabilities

BW Twirlers

The Pride of Toledo

Otterbein Pemberville

CycleWerks Bicycle & Fitness

Eastwood Local Schools

Eastwood Marching Band

Wood County Museum

Silver Kid’s Learning Center

The Heights Baton Corps

Wood County Fair Foundation

Black Swamp Willys Jeep Collectors

BG Bobcat Wrestling Club

Arcadia High School

Mosser Construction

Wendy & Thom Headley and the Headley grandchildren

Children’s Museum of Findlay

St Mark’s Lutheran Academy

The Dance Centre of NW Ohio in Whitehouse

Bowling Green Alliance Church

WC Humane Society

BGSU – International Programs and Partnerships

Clyde Fair Queen

Patrick Henry Marching Band

Portable Porecelain

St. Aloysius Catholic School

Twizzle Baton

Erie County Fair Royalty

Black Swamp Girl Scouts GSWO

Wood County Jr. and Sr. Fair

Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School

Power of Yesteryear Club

BGOPride Association


SASS Salon and Spa

Cub Scout Pack 485

Kia Soulmates

Surge Staffing

Five-Star Baton Company

Cookie Cutters

Redline Equipment

State Bank GIVES Truck

Bowling Green High School Cheer

BGHS Bobcat Marching Band


Bowling Green Fire Division

The tree lighting ceremony marks the beginning of the Holly Days season for Bowling Green. Check out all the deals at downtown businesses on Black Friday, which is Nov. 25, or Shop Small Saturday, which is Nov. 26.

There will also be a Downtown Holiday Photo Contest. Entries will be accepted November 28 – Dec. 9. Voting will take place Dec. 12-16, with the winners announced Dec. 19. First prize will win $100 Downtown Dollars, second prize will win $75 Downtown Dollars, and third prize will win $50 Downtown Dollars. More details will be on social media.

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