Petersburg Christmas Parade may be saved by local businesses

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Less than 24 hours after the announcement the Petersburg Christmas Parade may be in jeopardy due to the city's financial crisis, two local businesses are stepping up to make sure the holiday tradition continues.

Dean McCray, who owns McCray Electric, told City Council Tuesday that he would match up to $2,500 put towards the Christmas Parade.

"I love a parade," McCray said, and added "It's Christmas and I go to the parade".

Early Wednesday morning, Virginia Commonwealth Bank made the same offer, to match up to $2,500.

If the community can come up with $5,000, they will receive matching funds.

"We feel that the Christmas Parade is so important to the people of Petersburg, especially the children," said Larry Tucker,  Chairman of the Board for Virginia Commonwealth Bank.

"Virginia Commonwealth Bank wanted to get involved and we have come up with the same match that Dean McCray has come up with," added Tucker.

Richmond Entrepreneur Ricky Johnson, met with City Officials Wednesday and submitted the paperwork to take over the job as lead organizer.

"If everyone just did a little bit, we're going to make this parade happen," Johnson said. "We as an organization chose to step up and say, hey we've got to still make this happen, so we're taking on the financial responsibility."

The City of Petersburg said Johnson's application is pending and they hope to have it finalized by Thursday afternoon.

If so, then all approved all donations will go through Johnson's non-profit.

Johnson said he is already working to find sponsors, parade participants and getting donations.