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SoBo Christmas Parade Saturday

Nine bands will perform and 23 floats will be featured in South Boston’s Christmas Parade when it gets under way tomorrow at 5 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, a rain date has been set for Sunday at 5 p.m., Community Development Coordinator Tamyra Vest said.

“A decision will be made at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will be posted on the website (www.downtownsouthboston.com), and announcements will be made on WHLF and WAKG,” Vest added.

Bands participating in Saturday’s parade include Bluestone High School Marching Barons under the direction of Ricky Allgood; Dan River High School Marching Wildcats directed by Maxtan Artis; and Prince Edward County High School Marching Eagles under the auspices of Band Director Karl Wilke.

Others include Brunswick High School Marching Bulldogs directed by Allen Green; J. F. Webb High School Marching Warriors under the direction of Clint McCaskill; and Cumberland County High School Marching Dukes directed by Stephen Harmon.

Also participating will be Bartlett Yancey High School Marching Buccaneers under the auspices of Parker Kiser; Park View High School Marching Dragons directed by Chris McDilda; and host Halifax County High School Blue Comets Marching Band under Director Domonic Stephens.

Leading this year’s parade will be grand marshals Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Halifax American Belles.

Bearing the theme, “Christmas Stories From Books Or Films,” the parade will feature 23 float entries portraying a favorite book or film theme.

Samples of some of the themed floats include the following:

Three Forks Grocery’s “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and the Island Of Misfit Toys”

Shady Grove United Methodist Church Outreach’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas With The Christmas Story”

Caregivers of Autistic Children’s “T’was The Night Before Christmas”

Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation’s “A Hawaiian Christmas Tree”

Grace Baptist Church’s “The Greatest Story Ever Told”

County Line Baptist Church’s “The Little Drummer Boy”

Aarons Creek Baptist Church’s “Polar Express”

We’ve Got Rhythm Dance Academy’s “White Christmas”

Halifax County High School FFA’s “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”

Arbor Baptist Church’s “The Christmas Box”

In addition to a variety of floats, also entered in this year’s parade will be antique cars, motorcycle groups, dune buggies, equestrian entries and the canine group.

During the parade, Virginia Department of Social Services Halifax County office staff will be selling hot chocolate and cookies with proceeds going to the Angel Tree. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available at two locations - Main Street in front of Town Hall and Main Street near Distinct Impressions.

According to Vest, judging for all entries will take place during the parade. However, the judges also will be walking around at line-up time to become familiar with the entries.

Parade entries will be announced as they reach the corner of Main Street and North Main Street.

One trophy will be awarded for the “Most Creative Use of Lights” entry with all entries eligible to win this trophy, she said.

Also another trophy will be awarded for the “Best Themed” entry. All entries qualify to be eligible for this trophy too, she added.

All winners will be announced on Monday.

Line-up for the parade will start at 3 p.m., two hours prior to the start of the parade, Vest said noting that participants can check the website for line-up position and location, or they can contact Sara Davis at 434-575-4208.

Participants in the parade may not dress as Santa, she said, but Vest encouraged persons to dress as elves, cartoon caricatures to fit the holiday theme.

All dogs in the dog category must be “dressed” and on a leash while walking with the designated dog group.

Candy may be given out to parade attendees by persons walking beside an entry.

Fire engine sirens or horn blowing will only be allowed at the direction of the official parade announcer, Vest said. No other horns or sirens will be allowed other than fire and police vehicles.

Unless previously approved by Destination Downtown South Boston, no buses of any kind, no go-carts, three-wheelers, four-wheelers or dirt bikes will be permitted in the parade.

All persons driving in the parade must be 18 or older, and no vehicles are permitted to spin tires while participating in the parade, she said.

Handicapped parking for parade attendees will be available in front of the Fire Support Building (beside the former Hill’s Tavern) on the first row of parking spaces facing Wilborn Ave. 

Port-a-johns for units in the parade lineup will be located near the gravel parking lot on McKinney Street and at the corner of Chalmers and Noblin, Vest said.

Port-a-johns for parade visitors will be located in the alley downtown in the 300 block that leads back to the Farmers Market Shelter, she added.

The South Boston Christmas Parade is sponsored by Destination Downtown South Boston and Elliott Electric.

Other sponsors include Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Carlbrook School, Gold Bell Sponsors; Halifax County/South Boston Retail Merchants Association, Santa Float Sponsor; ABB, Silver Bells Sponsor; Professional Communications, Communications Partner; 95.3 WHLF-FM, Media Partner; and Ed’s Honda.