Lauren Williams Staff Writer
November 6, 2013
The month of November has only just begun but it’s not too soon to start thinking about Christmas, particularly participating in the “Christmas in Clinton” parade which is coming up Saturday, Dec. 14.
While the parade is a little over a month away, the time to sign up to take part in this local holiday tradition is now, shared Janna Bass, executive director of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, noting that interested persons, businesses, civic groups, and churches must complete an application which includes entry descriptions, float sketches, and participation fees.
“The original deadline for applications was Wednesday, Nov. 6, but that deadline has been extended to Friday, Nov. 15,” she said, mentioning that numerous community members have called expressing interest in joining the parade and requesting parade applications. Last year, the parade featured just over 100 entries.
Parade applications are available at the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce located at 414 Warsaw Road and on the Chamber’s website at www.clintonsampsonchamber.org.
Categories of acceptable entries are: floats (full professional, half professional/shared with another sponsor, homemade business, homemade other including civic groups and churches), business sponsored marching bands, vehicles (business, non-profit, queen, multiple queens/princesses/Little Miss, antique/collector, multiple/club, 6,000 lbs. GVW), and marchers/walkers (commercial and non-profit).
The various fees for both Chamber and non-Chamber members in each of these categories can be found on the parade application.
No matter how community members chose to participate, the chamber requires that all entries be Christmas-themed, and if featuring music, that only Christmas music be played.
No horses or motorcycles are allowed in the parade, and while ATVs are permitted, there are safety rules that participants need to make sure to abide by including that all ATV drivers must be at least 25 years old or must submit documentation to the Chamber showing that an ATV safety course has been successfully completed. Passengers are allowed on ATVs but can only ride behind the driver, and in the name of safety, the chamber recommends that children under 12 years old not be permitted to operate an ATV. Also, both drivers and riders on ATVs must wear helmets and goggles.
As for floats, the Chamber asks that they not exceed 12’ x 24,’ that they feature no decorations that protrude from the sides, that they have a hand holds or stand-up holds for each rider, and that spotter be positioned beside the floats as they make their way along the parade route.
With all participants registered, the parade will take place as it traditionally does, on the second Saturday in December.
Entries will report to the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center at 8 a.m. to receive line-up instructions and identification numbers which are needed in order for entries to be properly announced during the live radio broadcast of the parade by WCLN 1170. The parade will also be aired on TV courtesy of StarVision/Waccamaw Media. To add to these broadcasts, the chamber is asking all parade participants to provide a brief description of their organization and entry.
All traffic will be blocked off at 9 a.m. and the parade will kick off at 10 a.m., following the same route as last year. Entries will leave from the Agri-Expo Center on Warsaw Road and make their way to the parade’s official starting point at the Clinton City Schools Administrative Offices located in the old College Street School. The parade will proceed through downtown and around the courthouse on the Vance Street side, continuing down Fayetteville Street, turning left onto Chestnut Street, and taking another left onto West Main Street. The parade will continue down Main Street, make a right onto Lisbon Street, and officially end at the Clinton City Market. Floats and entries must return to the Agri-Expo Center to unload.
After the parade, Bass encourages folks to enjoy spending time downtown, pointing out that after he participates in the parade, Santa will return to his house in front of the courthouse so that youngsters can pay a visit. Restaurants and stores downtown will also have their doors open for customers wishing to eat or shop after the festivities.
“The ‘Christmas in Clinton’ parade is such a staple in the community. It’s a special community event and very important for the citizens’ overall quality of life. We’re so thankful for the local businesses and community members who support the parade,” said Bass. “As always, we look forward to being a part of it each and every year, and we always strive for it to be a safe, fun-filled family event that gets everyone in that festive holiday spirit.”
For more information about the parade and the application process, please contact Janna Bass at the chamber at 910-592-6177. Mail can be sent to the chamber at P.O. Box 467 or faxed to 910-592-5770.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.