CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Funeral Parade will likely return to Charleston's Capitol Street next month.
A local group has stepped up to sponsor the event, which was canceled last year for lack of funds and later reincarnated in South Charleston.
There's just one problem -- the Funeral Parade is already scheduled in South Charleston on its traditional date in September. Both parades were planned independently of one another, and organizers in both cities said they were unaware of the other event.
The Kanawha River Navy, a group of boat owners that has assisted with the parade in past years, has tentatively decided to hold it at 6 p.m. Aug. 17, beginning at Lee and Capitol streets. The parade will be in conjunction with SportsFEST.
Pat Wood, a member of the Great Kanawha River Navy, confirmed the group is planning to host the parade. He said the organization was meeting with its insurance company Monday to go over final details.
"It's just a matter of us tying up all the loose ends," he said.
South Charleston's was set for Sept. 7. The city hosted the parade last year after the Charleston event was canceled for lack of funding and sponsors.
"Nobody contacted me and told me they wanted to bring it back to Charleston," said Bob Anderson, executive director of the South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Thank the Lord I haven't spent $2,000 to $3,000 on advertising."
Anderson also was unhappy the Charleston Funeral Parade is scheduled for the same evening as Summerfest in South Charleston.
Wood said the Great Kanawha River Navy wasn't aware of a potential conflict with Summerfest, and that the group also wasn't aware South Charleston was planning to hold a Funeral Parade.
Traditionally, the Funeral Parade was held in Charleston on the weekend after Labor Day as part of the city's Sternwheel Regatta. When it was canceled in 2009, Scott and Laura Miller, owners of Bar 101 and Ichiban, stepped in to sponsor the parade so the event could go on.
The Millers also owned Sam's Uptown Café for a time, but sold it in 2011. After that, they decided not to be the main sponsor anymore.
After the cancellation of the 2012 Funeral Parade was announced, South Charleston decided to host the parade, and did so last September. Because of the success of the parade in South Charleston, the city's visitors' bureau was going to host the event again.
"We thought we did a great job," Anderson said.
Anderson said the River Rat Band, which typically performs at the Funeral Parade, had committed to the South Charleston event.
He said if a Funeral Parade does happen in Charleston, then South Charleston would cancel its event.
Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Mur...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.