Land and boat parades scheduled for Saturday

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tommy Howard/Times Niki Howard and her daughter Sydni Thomas represented Pawleys Island Christian Academy on Sunday as they sang Christmas carols at Francis Marion Park in Georgetown. That’s the same place the city’s Christmas tree will be lit Saturday night. A full day of activities is planned for Saturday to welcome in the Christmas season, starting with a parade at 10 a.m.

The holiday season will officially be ushered in on Saturday as a day full of Christmas activities takes place on Front Street.

The day begins with the annual Christmas Parade, starting at 10 a.m.

Organizer Katie Maleckar said, as of late Tuesday, more than 100 groups and organizations had signed up to be a part of the parade and she expects more.

“We always get a lot of people signing up at the last minute,” Maleckar said.

The parade will be led by the Centers for Birds of Prey out of Awendaw, Maleckar said.

Bands from all four Georgetown County high schools are slated to participate and several middle and elementary schools will also march down Front Street.

Santa will once again provide the parade finale. After the parade he will remain in Francis Marion Park until 2 p.m. for pictures.

Although Christmas is the main theme of the parade, this year it will also be dedicated to the emergency workers who helped with the Sept. 25 fire that destroyed a large part of the 700 block of Front Street.

The seven grand marshals for the parade will be Georgetown City Fire Chief Joey Tanner, City Police Chief Paul Gardner, County Fire Chief Mack Reed Jr., Andrews Fire Chief Bobby Barrineau, Midway Fire/Rescue Chief Doug Eggiman, Murrells Inlet/Garden City Chief Norman Knight, and Sheriff Lane Cribb.

Peter Mitchell, one of the organizers of the events, said he is hoping a Guinness record will be set.

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.”

Maleckar said there is no rain date for the parade, so every effort will be made to hold the event on Saturday. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service was calling for a 40% chance of rain Saturday.

The deadline for signing up to be in the parade is 3 p.m. Thursday. To be in the parade, contact Maleckar at 527-8413.

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. Read more about the tour on page 1B of today’s newspaper.

Boat Parade and tree lighting

There will be a second parade Saturday.

A Christmas boat parade will take place in the Sampit River beginning at 6 p.m.

The grand marshals will be Front Street fire victims and civic leaders John and Wanda Rogers.

Organizer Michele Overton said she is happy with the number of boats already signed up to participate but more are needed.

She said, weather permitting, the boats — decorated in Christmas lights — will make two laps around Goat Island. This makes the boats visible not only from the Harborwalk boardwalk but also from Bayview and East Bay Park.

To be a part of the parade, contact Overton at 546-8212 or e-mail micheleoverton@gmail.com.

After the boat parade — at 6:45 p.m. — there will be a ceremony to light the city’s Christmas tree at Francis Marion Park.

There will be Christmas caroling along with the tree lighting featuring the Swamp Fox Players with special appearance from the Wonderettes.

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