Christmas Parade marshal named

Special to the Enterprise

When the Sulek & Dutton sponsored lighted Christmas Parade returns to Barnesville on Dec. 4, the parade marshal will be someone you might say is quite familiar with the annual event. In fact, you might say Santa Claus will lead the annual parade hosted by the Barnesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bernard Clark, who filled the role as “Santa” for the Barnesville community for over three decades, is the 2021 honoree to lead the popular parade. Clark, a lifelong resident of the Barnesville area, has farmed on Sandy Ridge for almost 50 years.

Bernard was asked to serve as the village’s Santa Claus in 1985 replacing Robert “Hoot” Gibson, who handled the duties for many years. 

He spent Friday evenings and Saturday mornings during the holiday shopping season visiting businesses including Western Auto, Polen’s Store, G.C. Murphy, Cheffy Drugs and others that lined Main Street. Some businesses such as Hall’s IGA and the K-V Store would invite him in for a few hours to socialize with youngsters of all ages. 

In character as “Santa,” Clark was the focus of the Santa float in the annual Barnesville Christmas Parade. His first parade entry was his horse-drawn antique sleigh. Over the years, Bernard’s Santa entry evolved into a lighted semi-trailer decorated to the hilt, thanks to the generosity of local sponsors.

Clark spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours creating and decorating the float every year. One year, he featured a small house on the float with smoke rising from the chimney. 

Unfortunately, Bernard’s role as Santa came to an end after back surgery in 2017 prevented him from continuing this labor of love for the Barnesville community.  

The Sulek & Dutton Lighted Christmas Parade will take place at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Parade line-up will take place at the high school beginning at 3:30 p.m. All entries must be lighted. Parade entry forms, accessible on the chamber website, may be dropped off at Sulek & Dutton Real Estate, 745 E. Main St., or via email at

For information on the parade, contact Sulek & Dutton at 740-425-9040, Mike Sulek at 740-359-0695, or Chamber office manager Jill Hissom at 740-425-4300.