Coming home for Christmas has been made easier for those trapped out of town during the holidays, thanks to the live-streaming capabilities of Ohio University Southern’s Electronic Media Department.
Live action of the annual Winter Wonderland of Lights Ashland Christmas Parade, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Ashland, will be streamed in full through links posted to The Independent and WSAZ’s MyZ websites.
This year the highly respected “Mr. Cartoon,” Jule Huffman, will be the parade’s Grand Marshall. He was in the Winter Wonderland of Lights first Christmas parade in 1995.
The Christmas parade is one of the longest-standing traditions of the city. The OUS streaming provides a way to transport Ashland locals who have been called away for jobs, school, out-of-area family or other reasons, back home for the celebration.
The video, filmed by 15 students with five cameras, will be coupled with a sidebar chat where viewers can share their memorable parade experiences and reunite with friends also spending Christmas away from home.
Don Moore, who is over the broadcasting department at OUS, said last year an Ashland woman who moved to Florida watched the parade online and lamented having to be away from the city during that time.
“It reminded her about how Ashland was at Christmas, so she said it was going to be her last Christmas in Florida. All others would be spent back in Ashland,” Moore said.
The parade will begin around Central Park, with festivities moving to the viewing stand in downtown approximately 20 minutes later where the OUS cameras will be filming.
“There’s nothing like being there in person, but for those who can’t be there, this is a way they can still experience it,” Moore said.
The parade will only be aired live on the web, but will be available to watching between Christmas and New Year’s on Time Warner Cable channel 5, Armstrong Cable channels 4 and 100 and WSAZ channel 3.
Links to the stream will be available at dailyindependent.com and wsaz.com. WSAZ reporter Olivia Fecteau and new anchor Shannon Houser will co-host the parade.
LANA BELLAMY can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2653.