First-ever Garland Christmas parade, tree-lighting this Saturday

Chris Berendt Staff Writer

November 29, 2013

The town of Garland’s first Christmas parade and annual Christmas tree-lighting will take place this Saturday, with the preparations for the parade beginning at 4 p.m.

The event, sponsored by the town of Garland and the Garland N.C. STEP (Small Towns Economic Prosperity grant) Committee, is fast approaching. The idea, whose planning began in earnest just a couple weeks ago, came out of a brainstorm among town officials after the long-running Garland Rotary Fair and Parade fell by the wayside this year due to a revoked Rotary charter.

Still wishing to offer something to the town, a Christmas parade was proposed and the Garland Board of Commissioners decided earlier this month to lend their support to the N.C. STEP Committee and build on the group’s annual tree-lighting, now in its second year.

Line-up for the parade will be at 4 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 30. The parade will start at 5 p.m., to be followed by the Christmas tree lighting at 6 p.m.

There is no entry fee for the parade, however town officials do request that all entries be lighted as it will be a night-time parade. Santa will visit from the North Pole, providing children an opportunity to share their wish lists and parents a photo-op with the main elf himself.

Along with a visit from Kris Kringle, there will be storytelling and candy for the youngsters. Hot chocolate and chili will be on sale as part of a fundraising for the Garland Senior Center.

Those wishing to participate in the parade or looking for more information on Saturday’s festivities can contact Brenda Cromartie at 910-628-2811 or Mayor Winifred Murphy at 910-627-1692. Parade entry forms can be faxed to 910-529-1393.

Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at