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‘Thanks’ to crews that keep us safe, comfortable

The weather was “just right” as hundreds lined either side of Main Street Saturday night for the annual Winchester Christmas parade.

Promptly at 6 p.m., the Clark County Christmas tree was lit and dozens of area businesses, organizations and clubs paraded through downtown Winchester, marking the official start of the Christmas season.

The parade lasted more than an hour, and the enthusiasm of the many people watching was evident. When the parade ended, families scattered away quickly, hoping to avoid traffic backups and find some relief from the cold.

The street that was once packed full of brightly-lit floats, coat-clad children and the Christmas spirit was now scattered with candy cane wrappers, soda bottles and other remains of the celebration.

Less than an hour later, though, Main Street looked like nothing had happened — and Winchester Public Works deserves praise for the phenomenal job crews do getting downtown Winchester picked up after major events.

We’ve said it before, but crews from agencies like Public Works, Winchester Municipal Utilities, the Clark County Road Department and local utility companies are some of our community’s most unsung heroes.

Particularly in the winter months, these crews are charged with responding to situations that inhibit our comfort and sometimes our safety.

These are the people who spend their Saturday night sweeping Main Street so we can enjoy a clean downtown come Monday. They are the ones out salting roads well past midnight and again at 5 a.m. to make them safe and passable.

When a water line bursts, they bundle up and dive in, literally, to restore water access. And when winter storms down power lines, they brave the cold to restore our electricity. They remove our unwanted leaves, fill in potholes, mow right-of-ways, maintain street signage and much more.

We have been impressed time and again with how they respond in quick and superb fashion to everything from clean-up after community festivals to events that disturb our access to critical utilities — all on limited budgets, employee shortages and — sometimes — lower-than-expected wages.

This season, and all year long, we applaud these crews for their dedication, hard work and behind the scenes actions that make our community a better place to live, work and play.