Christmas parade set for Dec. 1

Published 11:55 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

Mark your calendars for Thursday, Dec. 1 as an eagerly-awaited holiday event returns to the Camellia City. The Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce has slated its annual Christmas Parade to kick off downtown at 6:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “A Magical Toy Christmas.”

GACoC director Francine Wasden says a new twist will be added to this year’s pre-parade activities.

“Brad Jones from Antioch East Baptist Church is organizing about 20 singers, who are going to break up into two groups,” said Wasden. “At 6 p.m., one group will start at City Hall and work their way down towards the Depot, while the other group will be coming from the opposite direction. We will have 30 minutes of carols to get everyone in the holiday spirit—and anyone who wants to is welcome to join right in and stroll and sing along with them. How fun is that?”

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There will also be concessions and activities before the parade in Confederate Park, including the opportunity to meet jolly old Saint Nick himself and get photos taken with him.

“We know people often arrive a whole hour before the parade, and we want to give them something to do and to enjoy while they wait,” Wasden said.

Applications for parade entries are now available and Wasden encourages everyone to go ahead and get those forms in soon.

“It takes a crew of people to organize and put on a parade, and the sooner we get in the applications, the easier it is for us to streamline the process. So—don’t wait until the last minute, folks,” Wasden stressed. The deadline for parade applications is Monday, November 1.

Since it is once again a nighttime parade, all those entering are reminded that not only music, but lights should be on all floats and vehicles entered.  There will be first and second place prizes for the best decorated float and vehicle categories.

“We also want everyone to remember that safety is paramount and we require walkers on either side of the floats and vehicles entered. Having walkers in place is only way you are allowed to throw candy from your parade entry as well, and there is no additional fee for these walkers,” said Wasden. “We also want to remind everyone those driving trucks, tractors or cars must be at least 18 with a valid driver’s license.”

All vehicles parked downtown will be asked to move off Commerce St. by shortly after 5 p.m., with check in to line up for the parade set at that time.

And there’s one more reminder.

“There is only one Santa, of course, and he will be in the park and then on the big red truck at the end of the parade,” said Wasden.

“So let’s not have any pretend Santas on or inside the parade entries.”

For more details on the upcoming parade or to request an application, contact the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce by phone at 382-3251, by fax at 382-3181 or via email at