LUMBERTON — Four Christmas events during the next three days will give folks wanting to get into the holiday spirit plenty of options.
The streets of Fairmont will be glowing with Christmas lights as it holds its annual Christmas Parade on Friday beginning right after dark, about 6 p.m. The 57 units will assemble downtown at F.F. Palace restaurant and will travel south to the Fairmont Community Park for a tree-lighting ceremony. Following the ceremony will be a celebration at the Heritage Center.
The forecast is sunny with a high of 63 degrees, but those planning to attend will want to bundle up as temperatures will begin falling toward the forecasted low of 39 degrees.
“We began our parade about five years ago and chose to have it at night because we wanted it to be unique … and we require all of the wheeled units to have lights,” Mayor Charles Kemp said. “Ours is not the oldest and not the biggest but it’s certainly the most unique parade.”
The parade will include four marching bands, commercial floats, homemade floats, queens, carolers, the Sudan Tomcats and Playboys and students from the South Robeson Head Start Center dressed as gift boxes.
The parade will end at the Fairmont Community Park, where the Rev. Dean Carter will read “The Christmas Story” and the Long Branch Elementary School choir will perform before the tree-lighting ceremony.
The celebration at the Heritage Center will include performances from Farmers Festival Miss Ivy Page, Lumberton third-grader Cailee Calabrese, the Fairmont High School chorus, Senior Citizens Choir Fairmont, and Rosenwald Elementary School. Santa will be taking wish lists from children.
Also on Friday Lumberton residents can enjoy the city’s Tree Lighting Ceremony and a free movie.
The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at the plaza in downtown Lumberton with a musical performance by the Police Department’s DARE Band. The event will feature performances from the musical cast from “A Robeson County Christmas,” free horse and carriage rides, tractor hay rides, free hot cocoa and cookies. Other food will be available for sale.
The movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the Carolina Civic Center.
On Saturday, Marietta will be hold the Whitehouse Volunteer Fire Department/Marietta Christmas Parade. The 120-unit parade will begin moving from the old Marietta school at 11 a.m. and make its way through downtown Marietta.
The parade will feature four high school bands, nine Shriner units, antique tractors, classic cars, beauty queens, and jolly old Saint Nick.
The forecast for Saturday is sunny with a high of 67 degrees.
“It’s going to be a beautiful day so everyone should come on down,” Mayor Justin Oliver said. “It’s the best parade in Robeson County.”
Following the parade there will be a benefit auction for the Whitehouse Volunteer Fire Department at the Marietta Community Building..
Also on Saturday St. Pauls will be holding its Christmas Parade, whose theme this year is “Believe.” The parade will begin moving from the St. Pauls High School on Old Stage Road at 3 p.m., and will travel through downtown St. Pauls on Broad Street and loop back to the high school.
The parade will feature about 60 entries, including high school marching bands, commercial floats, beauty queens, fire trucks, classic cars and National Guardsmen.
The grand marshal will be St. Pauls Police Chief Tommy Hagens.
“We’d like for everybody to come out and join us,” said Doris McLean, vice president of the St. Pauls Chamber of Commerce. “I think it’ll turn out really good and hopefully it’ll be a good day.”
After the parade, there will be a celebration at the R.E. Hooks Community Building with entertainment and refreshments. Santa will be there to accept wish lists.