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Greenville Christmas parade slated for Thursday, Dec. 6

Head downtown Thursday night and witness a Greenville Christmas tradition.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Christmas Parade on Commerce Street. The theme this year is, “A Storybook Christmas.” Chamber Executive Director Tracy Salter said Monday that she is looking forward to the event.

“The parade is an annual tradition that brings a large crowd to Downtown Greenville,” she said. “It’s the first Thursday in December – everyone has gotten back in the swing of things after the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s an opportunity to come downtown to enjoy the official lighting of the tree in the park, visit with Santa, view the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations and spend time with family and friends to enjoy the parade.”

Families and friends alike can also enjoy the many holiday happenings before and during the parade as well.

“Park festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a visit from Santa, followed by the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. and the parade at 6:30 p.m.,” Salter explained.

Individuals can also enjoy festive treats in the park.

“This year, there will be an opportunity for those in attendance to enjoy hot chocolate, popcorn and funnel cakes in the park,” Salter said. “The Greenville Lions Club will have tasty treats on hand in the park for everyone to enjoy as they watch the parade.”

Offering treats the night of the parade will serve as a fundraising opportunity for the civic organization.

“The Lions Club is offering this as a fundraiser and all monies raised from the concessions will be used to assist the club with local projects throughout the year,” Salter said.

The Camellia City Bakery will also participate in the festivities. With special holiday hours, the bakery will offer hot chocolate and cookies for all paradegoers.

“Camellia City Bakery will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. and welcomes everyone to stop by and purchase a cup of hot chocolate and some tasty cookies while they enjoy the festivities of the evening,” Salter added.

Since it is a nighttime parade, all those entering are reminded that not only music, but also 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.

Salter also stresses the importance of sticking with the theme of the parade.

“There are so many great Christmas stories – pick your favorite and be sure your float or vehicle entry represents the story you choose,” she said. “We want to see lots of lights and colorful displays of decorations that highlight a ‘Storybook Christmas.’”

All vehicles parked downtown will be asked to move off Commerce St. by 5:10 p.m. to allow parade lineup and activities in the park to begin. Parade participants can check in at the corner of Balanced Health on Church Street, where they will be given a lineup number and directed to their lineup spot.

“We also want everyone to remember that safety is paramount and we require walkers on either side of the floats and vehicles entered,” Salter said. “Having walkers in place is the only way you are allowed to throw candy from your parade entry as well. There is no additional fee for these walkers.”

Anyone planning on driving trucks, tractors, off-road vehicles or cars must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license.

The final rule is just as important, according to Salter.

“There is only one Santa, no exceptions,” she concluded “He will be in the park before the parade and then on the big red fire truck at the end of the parade. We want to make sure everyone is mindful of the ‘Santa Rule’ – let’s not have any pretend Santas on or around any of the float entries.”