Bigger Brighter Christmas planned for Front Street in Georgetown, South Carolina

  • Friday, November 15, 2013

Bienvenue Home Accents on Front Street is looking like Christmas.


A “Bigger, Brighter, and Better” Christmas season. That is what the Georgetown Business Association (GBA) and the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce have planned for Front Street.

And it could be one for the record books.

A planning session for the holiday season was held last month. Facilitator Peter Mitchell called the meeting “Fourteen Fabulous Ideas to Celebrate the Holidays on Front Street.”

Some of the events that will be taking place include: Entertainment in Francis Marion Park from 2:30-3:30 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday; free pictures with Santa from 2-3 p.m. on Saturdays; “Georgetown Rocks” with rocking chairs in front of the businesses; Stores open on Sunday afternoons; and a Family Shopping Night on Friday, Dec. 13.

A day-full of events is planned for Saturday, Dec. 7, said GBA president Al Joseph.

That is when the annual Georgetown County Christmas Parade will be held, starting at East Bay Park and proceeding down Front Street.

Joseph said the parade will begin at 10 a.m., which is an hour earlier than in recent years because of the anticipated large crowd and high number of floats, bands, and vehicles.

After the parade - at 1 p.m. - The Friends of the Library Christmas Tour of Historic Homes will take place. The tour features eight homes that have never been on any tour.

At 6 p.m., a revitalized Lighted Boat Parade in the Sampit River will begin, with the best viewing along the Harborwalk boardwalk.

The day will conclude with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting and concert at 6:45 p.m. in Francis Marion Park.

Hoping for a record

First responders will be honored during the Christmas Parade, an event organizers are hoping will land Georgetown a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The grand marshals for the parade will be Georgetown City Fire Chief Joey Tanner, City Police Chief Paul Gardner, County Fire Chief Mack Reed Jr. and Sheriff Lane Cribb.

Mitchell researched the Guinness World Records website and searched the web for parades honoring first responders.

“To date, there have been Veterans Day Parades and motorcycle parades honoring first responders, but no community parade with that theme,” Mitchell said. “If we achieve the turnout we expect, Georgetown will set a world record.”

The parade is expected to draw over 100 floats, bands, marching units and first responder vehicles. The 12 fire and rescue units that responded to the September 25th Front Street fire have been invited to have a truck in the parade - along with other city and county rescue and law enforcement vehicles and crews, Mitchell said. The Master of Ceremonies will be a news personality from WCBD-TV 2.

Parade organizers Aimee Salmon and Katie Maleckar believe this will be the largest parade in Georgetown’s history.

Chamber president Brian Tucker said, “This community is very grateful for our first responders. The parade provides an exciting way to honor these brave men and women. It would be fantastic to see Front Street from the 600 block through the 1100 block lined three and four deep with Georgetown County families and visitors cheering our fire, police, sheriff and EMT crews.”

Joseph added, “Georgetown is a very special place; the kind of town that stands for traditional American values, where you know and care about your neighbor. How terrific for Georgetown to have a Guinness World Record for a parade honoring first responders.”

It’s not too late to be a part of the parade. All Georgetown schools, churches and civic clubs are invited to sponsor floats or send bands and other marching units.

Applications for organizations or individuals to have a float or vehicle in the parade are available at Prince George Framing, 718 Front Street or call (843) 527-8413.

More help needed

Mitchell said in order to make the parade a success, more help is needed.

“We have 22 days to pull off a major parade with floats and bands and marching groups. A daunting task that necessitates the help and cooperation of everyone,” he wrote in a letter to the editor that can be found elsewhere in today’s newspaper. “Certainly GBA and the Chamber are doing all they can. The merchants are decorating their establishments and helping with the details associated with the parade and the other events on the 7th. At the end of the day, the only way we can pull off a world record parade is if individuals step up and assume responsibility to make it happen.

We need individuals with access to flat bed trucks to volunteer their vehicles to the schools and churches. We need two or three teachers and ten or twelve parents in each school to help the children build floats. We need pastors and a core group of parishioners to work to build floats and arrange for choirs to march in the parade.”

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