CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston city officials are stepping in to host the annual funeral parade held in neighboring Charleston for decades.
Organizers of the annual event canceled the downtown parade earlier this month after Charleston restaurateur Scott Miller, the major sponsor, backed out. The funeral parade is usually held over Labor Day weekend.
The funeral parade was part of Charleston's annual Sternwheel Regatta until Mayor Danny Jones killed the regatta. Miller had stepped in to provide major funding for the event the past three years, but said he was dropping out this year because of poor attendance and because the date of the parade conflicted with the Marshall-WVU football game.
However, Bob Anderson, executive director of the South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, said South Charleston will host the parade this year. Anderson said officials at the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Nitro, which has helped with the parade the past two years, have agreed to enter a float in the parade and provide prizes, beads and other accoutrements for the event.
City officials already have insurance coverage for downtown South Charleston and are making arrangements for bands and other entertainment for the parade, Anderson said.
"We're excited to have it as a new event in South Charleston," Anderson said.
The new date for the funeral parade is Sunday, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m.
South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said Anderson proposed hosting the event earlier this week.