Wednesday, 08 December 2021 20:56

Christmas parade to light up Hamlet streets

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The Marching Raiders are slated to return to the Hamlet Christmas Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Marching Raiders are slated to return to the Hamlet Christmas Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday. RO file photo

HAMLET — Organizers are hoping for a large turnout for Thursday evening’s Christmas Parade of Lights.

Mechelle Preslar, Hamlet Depot and Museum director, said the decision was made to move the parade to a later time because those working daytime jobs couldn’t make it at 4 p.m.

“The committee decided to do it at 6 p.m. for more spectators and more participation,” Preslar said Thursday after finalizing the lineup.

The parade will start just past the railroad tracks by the Depot, with the route heading west on Main Street, then turning north onto Rice Street and east onto Charlotte Street before making a quick jaunt up Raleigh Street to Hamlet Avenue.

Leading the parade will be the Hamlet Police Department and Richmond Senior High School Army JROTC Raider Battalion, followed by Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless and City Councilman Maurice Stuart, Richmond County Sheriff Mark Gulledge, Clerk of Court Vickie Daniel and Rep. Ben Moss.

Other dignitaries in the parade include Miss North Carolina Madison Bryant — and Scuba Steve.

There are also 15 commercial floats, including Bold Moves Dance Company and Dance Sensations, Richmond Community College, American Woodmark and von Drehle.

Preslar said the motto of the parade is “the brighter the better,” with entrants being encouraged to be creative in adding lights to their floats.

There will be first-, second- and third-place trophies given to the floats that are the “most creative.

Judges will be set up on a stage in front of City Hall, along with an emcee and DJ.

Across the street, in the old A&P parking lot, there will be several food trucks — Everything Rolled, Mama Blair’s, Las Palmas and FairyTales Concessions — and Axe to Grind will be serving up coffee and hot chocolate.

“I hope we get a really good crowd,” Preslar said.

The holiday traditions continue with Olde Fashioned Christmas on Hamlet Avenue, slated for 4-7 p.m. on Dec. 11 and sleigh rides for families in Dobbins Heights from 3-5 p.m. Dec. 21.

See the Visit Richmond County Facebook page for more events going on this month.