LUMBERTON — The weather won’t feel like Christmas, but sleigh bells will be ringing in the holiday season as Lumberton prepares to kick off the five-week run-up to the big day on Saturday with its annual Christmas Parade.
The parade will begin moving from downtown Lumberton at the Robeson County Museum at 10 a.m.and will travel up Elm Street to Biggs Park Mall.
Santa and his sleigh may have traveled from the North Pole, but the weather didn’t come with him as temperatures are expected to be in the 50s when the parade begins it slow trek to Biggs Park Mall.
Cindy Kern, executive director of the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce, says that the parade includes at least 150 entries and will have something for everyone to enjoy.
“We’re very excited about the parade,” Kern said. “The chamber and volunteers have worked very hard to put on this parade for the community and we hope everyone will come out and enjoy themselves.”
The parade will include six marching bands, commercial floats, homemade floats, carolers, Lumberton’s Sudan Tomcat Shrine Unit, classic cars and antique tractors — and of course — Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
Congressman Mike McIntyre, of Lumberton, will be serving as this year’s grand marshal.
Other county and city officials at the parade will include UNCP Chancellor Kyle Carter, Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey, Lumberton Police Chief Mike McNeill, Lumberton Mayor Raymond Pennington, Lumberton City Council members and county commissioners.
Marching bands performing in the parade will include Lumberton High School, South Robeson High School, Fairmont High School, St. Pauls High School, Red Springs High School, and the Magnolia Elementary Marching Trojans.
The parade will not be broadcast live, but will be shown on Thanksgiving Day at 10 a.m. on WNCP Channel 6.
The following are the dates of other holiday parades:
— Rowland will hold its Christmas Parade and Festival beginning at 10 a.m. on Nov. 24. The parade begins at the Rowland Middle School on Hines Street, travels down Main Street and turns onto U.S. 301, and then will proceed back to the middle school. The festival will immediately follow the parade at the Historic Rowland Depot on Railroad Street.
Participation is free and all of those who would like to be in the parade are asked to be at the middle school by 9 a.m. to begin lining up.
— Fairmont will hold its Christmas Parade on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. The parade begins in the northern part of downtown at F.F. Palace restaurant and travels south to the Fairmont Community Park, where a tree-lighting ceremony will be held. Following the tree lighting the town will hold a celebration at the Heritage Center.
For parade applications call Mayor Charles Kemp at 628-9766, Ext. 15. The deadline for parade applications is Nov. 26. All floats in the parade must include lights and a $100 prize will be awarded for the best float.
— Marietta will hold its White House Volunteer Fire Department/Marietta Christmas Parade on Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. The deadline for float entries is Nov. 25. There is no entry cost. Immediately following the parade will be a benefit auction for the White House Volunteer Fire Department at the community building.
For parade applications or vendor information, call John Bare at 628-9368 or Mayor Justin Oliver at 628-6556.
— St. Pauls will hold its Christmas Parade on Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. The parade will line up at the St. Pauls High School at 1 p.m. and will travel through downtown St. Pauls on Broad Street back to the high school. Entries are still being accepted for the parade, whose theme this year is “Believe.”
For parade applications, call the St. Pauls Area Chamber of Commerce at 865-3890 or Doris McLean at 474-3920.
— Pembroke will hold its Twilight Christmas Parade beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 6. The parade will line up at the Givens Performing Arts Center on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and end at the Pembroke Elementary School.
Participation in the parade is free. Participants are asked to be at the Givens Performing Arts Center at 3:30 p.m. to begin lining up.
— Maxton will hold its Christmas Parade on Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. The parade will line up at Townsend Middle School and travel down Main Street to Patterson Street.
For parade applications call Maxton Town Hall at 844-5231.
— Red Springs will hold its Christmas Parade on Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. The parade will line up at Red Springs High School and will end at Hardee’s on Fourth Avenue.