BLADENBORO — On a crisp but clear Saturday morning, the town of Bladenboro held its annual Christmas Parade between the Bo’s grocery store and downtown as a throng of people lined each side of the street.
A total of 90 entries participated in the parade.
“We almost couldn’t have gotten a better day for this,” said Bladenboro Mayor Rufus Duckworth. “It warmed up just enough.”
The procession was led by this year’s parade marshal, John Rendelman, who is the WWAY-TV3 sports anchor. Following just behind him was Mayor Duckworth and the Beast of Bladenboro.
A long line of pageant queens and elected officials were popular with the crowd, primarily because of the waves of candy that were launched from vehicles to the roadsides.
“The kids all love coming to the parade each year because it’s better than Halloween,” said Eileen O’Hara of Clarkton, who was at the parade with several of her grandchildren. “There will be some serious trading of candy when we get home.”
After a line of fire trucks from throughout the area, the Sudan Tom Cats and Spinners brought the crowd to life with their miniature car choreography.
Musical entertainment was provided along the way by the West Bladen High band, Bladenboro Middle band, the Black Water Rhythm & Blues Band and several church groups.
A row of vintage vehicles from the Classic Cruisers Car Club, several marching units from the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy, several horses and a few farm tractors also were part of the parade.
The 45-minute parade came to a close with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, each of whom waved to the delighted crowd of children along the parade route.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.