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November 27, 2013

Christmas parades start this weekend in county

TARBORO — Edgecombe County residents will have their pick of three Christmas parades this holiday season – Conetoe’s 3rd Annual Christmas Parade, the 38th Annual Pinetops Christmas Parade and Tarboro’s 50th Annual Christmas Parade.

The first parade, Conetoe’s, is set for 11 a.m. Saturday. The parade will make its way down Factory Street and circle around the town park. The parade is the smallest and newest of the county’s three Christmas parades, but it won’t be without its share of fanfare.

Chief Allen Dennie of the Conetoe Fire Department will be the grand marshal in this year’s parade. Two high-school marching bands, North Edgecombe and SouthWest Edgecombe, will add to the festivities. Atop the last float in the parade, one of the iconic symbols of the Christmas season, Santa Claus, will wave to the crowd.

Conetoe Mayor Linda Ingram thanked Keel Trucking for sponsoring two floats this year – one for Santa and the other for children to ride.

“My favorite part of it is just seeing everybody come out to watch the parade,” Ingram said. “I think we’ve gotten closer together.”

Ingram said last year’s parade had 25 entries and she is sure the parade will get “better and better” each year. After Saturday’s parade, everybody is invited to a festival in the park, featuring food and craft vendors and music.

The Pinetops parade will kick off at 10 a.m. Dec. 7. The parade begins on 9th Street, makes its way down Hamlet and 2nd Street, and disbands on Burnette.

“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. She said the parade usually has between 90 and 95 entries and attracts about 2,000 spectators.

“Right now, it looks like we’re going to have about seven (professional) floats,” Bass said. “We have the Shriners Sudan monster trucks and the ‘prowlers’ and the horse patrol…That’s always a big draw.”

At least three high-school marching bands will participate in the parade – SouthWest Edgecombe  High, North Edgecombe and Southeast Halifax.

Those who wish to participate in the parade need to be at the Lions Club Community Building on 9th Street by 9:15 a.m. to line up.

The last of the parades, Tarboro’s, will begin at 2 p.m. Dec. 8 in the 100 block of Main Street. The parade will end at the Food Lion on St. Andrew Street. Bleachers will be set up on the Town Common for first-come, first-serve spectator seating. John Moore will serve as emcee.

“We generally have between 80 and 90 entries in the parade,” said Bobbie Martin, president of the Tarboro Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce. “When it comes to a Christmas parade, everybody wants to be in it. They get very, very excited.”

The Tarboro High School Air Force JROTC, the Tarboro Police Department Honor Guard and members of the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office Motorcycle Unit will lead the parade.

Judges will name the “best homemade float” and “best band” in the parade. This year, Martin said five bands are participating in the parade – Tarboro High School Marching Vikings, sponsored by Doug Henry Ford, SouthWest Edgecombe High School Marching Cougars, sponsored by Doug Henry Chevrolet, North Edgecombe High School Marching Warriors, sponsored by Tarboro Printing Company, Southeast Halifax High School Marching Trojans, sponsored by Ronnie Ellis and Springleaf Financial Services, and North East Carolina Prep School Husky Band, sponsored by Tarboro Realty. Ainsley Construction Company is the presenting sponsor for the parade.

Those interested in participating in the parade should contact the Chamber at 823-7244.

 

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