By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Two Christmas parades are in store for Edgecombe County residents this weekend, but parade goers would be wise to wear a rain jacket and bring an umbrella.
Town of Pinetops officials said there is no rain date for the town’s 38th Annual Christmas Parade, set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade typically draws a crowd of about 2,000 people, and about 80 entries will be part of the fanfare this year.
Whether the forecast will keep crowds down this year has yet to be seen. Saturday’s forecast predicts a 90 percent chance of rain, and 10-to-20-mile per hour winds. The temperature will be moderate, with a daytime high of 59 degrees.
The town welcomes parade entries the day of the event, but participants must line up at 9 a.m. at the Lions Community Building on 9th Street. The parade begins on 9th Street, makes it way down Hamlet and 2nd Street, and disbands on Burnette. High-school marching bands, professional floats, a horse patrol and Shriners Sudan “prowlers” will be part of the mix at the parade.
“It’s just a good time for everybody to come together as a community. The parade is for kids, and they enjoy it,” said Pinetops Town Assistant Shirley Bass.
The next parade on tap is Tarboro’s 50th Annual Christmas Parade, set for 2 p.m. Sunday. The weather will turn colder that day, more reminiscent of the Christmas season, with a high of 44 forecast. The chance of rain that day is 70 percent. Like the Pinetops parade, the Tarboro parade will go on rain or shine.
The Tarboro Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce has 78 entries in the parade, and the registration period is closed.
“When it comes to a Christmas parade, everybody wants to be in it. They get very, very excited,” said Chamber President Bobbie Martin.
High-school marching bands, volunteer fire departments, and Santa and Mrs. Claus, to name a few, will bring holiday cheer to parade spectators. Bleachers will be set up on the Town Common for first-come, first-serve spectator seating. John Moore will serve as emcee.
Parade participants should check in at the corner of Saint Patrick and Johnston Streets between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The parade will begin at the 100 block of Main Street and end at the Food Lion on Saint Andrew Street.
Parking will not be allowed on Main Street from the 200 block at Granville Street to Wilson Street. Parade coordinators ask motorists to not park on Main Street from Wilson Street to Hope Lodge Street so that spectators’ view of the parade will not be blocked.
“Please use side streets and parking lots. We want everyone to enjoy the parade!” Martin said.