By Bobby Bordelon\r\n\r\nParades are a common staple of the holiday season each each all over the country and throughout the Greenbrier Valley. However, this year, COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of many of these parades. Despite this, the pandemic has also led to the emergence of two new events \u2013 Christmas at the Fair and Alderson's first Reverse Parade.\r\n\r\nAmong the canceled parades are the annual Shanghai Parade in Lewisburg, the Christmas Parade in Ronceverte, the Union 2020 Christmas Parade,\r\n\r\n\u201cWe have gotten news from the Shanghai Committee that they have decided to cancel the parade. It is heartbreaking, to say the least, that we won\u2019t have a Shanghai Parade, but I don\u2019t know, maybe we will have it later on, we\u2019ll see as this goes on,\u201d said Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe know this is a great disappointment for our community citizens and especially our children,\u201d announced Ronceverte leadership over social media. \u201cWe also know that it is a sad day for the Ronceverte Volunteer Fire Department members who always work hard and do a wonderful job of organizing and running the parade. No one wants to take a chance for a community spread of COVID-19 that might cause the loss of even one member of our community. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the Christmas Parades in the future.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe annual Rainelle Christmas Parade is currently scheduled to take place Saturday, December 12, with line-up at 5 p.m. in Industrial Park. The route goes from Route 20 to Route 60, following Main Street to 11th Street. Awards will follow at the Rainelle Armory parking lot.\r\n\r\nHowever, despite the cancellations, two new events full of holiday cheer are moving forward \u2013 a festive light display offered by the State Fair of West Virginia and the Reverse Christmas Parade in downtown Alderson on Friday, December 4.\r\n\r\nThe State Fair of West Virginia is looking to bring some of the lights that the Greenbrier Valley will be missing this year \u2013 Christmas at the Fair is a large, drive-thru light show on the fairgrounds with its own dedicated soundtrack.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt's the first event that the State Fair has been able to host this year. We were sitting in a staff meeting, brainstorming some ideas we had, and one of our board members really liked that idea and pushed us to do it. \u2026 This is something we could do safely. It's an event that the community can come out and enjoy, get some holiday spirits without worrying about health scares.\u201d\r\n\r\n<img class=" wp-image-52568 alignleft" src="https:\/\/mountainmessenger.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2020\/12\/127706830_3609637729080017_5468420732999085681_o-300x300.jpg" alt="" width="459" height="459" \/>Beginning at the Fair Street Gate or Route 219 North entrances to the fairgrounds, the display follows Blue Ribbon Drive, with synchronized lights flashing in time with the music playing on 106.9.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe started from scratch with the lights that we had,\u201d Collins said. \u201cWe'd never done anything like this before. The main reason is its been a tough year on everybody and we wanted to provide something for people to enjoy \u2026 and it's something we hope to grow for the future, be bigger and better for next year.\u201d\r\n\r\nCollins thanked the community for the support they've received in the last year and noted staff are preparing for the 2021 State Fair of West Virginia, hopeful that a vaccine and health measures will make the event possible.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe reached out to sponsors and they've really stepped up to help make this display possible,\u201d Collins said. \u201cMiller's Nightmare Haunted Farm didn't get to have their haunted corn maze or experience this year, so Miller came to help us out and it certainly wouldn't have happened without him.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe lights will be available by monetary donation, from 6 to 9 p.m. from Thursdays to Sundays.\r\n\r\nAfter the announcement of the Alderson Reverse Parade last week, a number of individuals looked for further clarification about how the event would run. In a video posted to the Town of Alderson Facebook page, Mayor Travis Copenhaver explained that the parade line up would be parked along the town streets, with citizens driving through, rather than the parade driving through.\r\n\r\n\u201cEverybody is trying to figure out exactly what a reverse parade is,\u201d explained Mayor Travis Copenhaver in a social media video. \u201cThis Friday, staring at 5:30, we'll be lining up on North Monroe Street, [going north] on the west side of the street. The reverse parade is the best we can do for the times that we're in with COVID. Instead of canceling it completely, we decided that this would be the best option for us for some sense of normalcy. \u2026 We won't have the bands, we won't have a moving parade. The parade theory is the vehicles, any of the floats, will sit still and cars will drive.\u201d\r\n\r\nAnyone wishing to be in the parade line up should contact town hall at 304-445-2916 this week.\r\n\r\nThose driving through the parade should line up behind the Queen of Lights on the Monroe County side on Railroad Avenue. The reverse parade will then take them across the Alderson Memorial Bridge up North Monroe Street, to its junction with Riverview Avenue.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou can go through this parade as many times as you want,\u201d Copenhaver said. \u201cIf your kids enjoyed coming across through the lights, you can go and circle around to the Monroe Side and come back around through the line up. There is no issue with the cars repeating to go. It's not costing to drive under the lights this year, this is the only time it's open.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe full video can be found on the Town of Alderson Facebook page, and the guidelines for the full reverse parade can be found in last weeks edition of the Mountain Messenger or online.