Holiday parades old and new are on the march


Grab those scarves and practice diving for candy canes. Local Christmas parades are back in business in Georgetown (Dec. 4), Selbyville (Dec. 5), Millsboro (Dec. 10) and Dagsboro (Dec. 11).

Selbyville

To accommodate the growing crowds, Selbyville’s parades have gotten longer recently, and on Dec. 5, the 54th Annual Selbyville Christmas Parade will begin at 7 p.m., with two performance spots on Church Street, near the PNC Bank judges’ stand and by La Sierra.

“It’s a small town, so we’ll be able to spread it out a little bit,” said organizer Lauren Weaver of Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, which helps organize the parade.

“Something about it — it just gives you a good feeling,” Selbyville Town Administrator Bob Dickerson said. “People work all day, don’t get to see their friends and neighbors all day. It’s just … a fun thing to see, and they’re getting more and more entrants all the time.”

Close to 50 entries will pass by, competing for the Overall Dazzler trophy, sponsored by the Coastal Point. The overall parade is sponsored by Holly Kia.

The crowds can buy candy apples and cotton candy from vendors, while a fundraiser 50/50 will be offered, and the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company will be selling oyster sandwiches.

“This year we have the Santa House, which is right across the road from PNC. Santa will be able to meet with families from 5:30 until 7 [p.m.], before he goes into the parade,” Weaver said. And families can take photos of their children meeting Santa.

People can also bring preschool-aged books for donation or give a monetary donation to support Delaware Read Aloud.

One Coastal restaurant will be next door, selling cocoa and cookies.

Handicapped-accessible parking is behind the Georgia House restaurant.

Dagsboro

Dagsboro is resurrecting an old tradition, with the Dagsboro Christmas Parade on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. (The rain date is Friday, Dec. 12.)

It starts at the back entrance of Indian River High School, then goes north on Clayton Avenue and west on Clayton Street, ending at the Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department’s fire hall.

Besides vendors on the street, people may get coffee and hot chocolate and meet with Santa Claus at the fire hall.

“I see it as a good aspect for the town,” fireman Bryan Townsend said recently. “It brings people in, and it’s good for the community.”

“Obviously, it’s the holiday. Everybody gets in the holiday spirit,” said Councilman Brian Baull, estimating that more than 25 years have passed since the Town’s last holiday parade.

The parade is not a contest among entrants, so everyone can focus on the holiday spirit. All participants will be recognized.

Millsboro

For the third year, Millsboro’s Christmas parade will be held in the evening, on Wednesday, Dec. 10, beginning at 7 p.m.

“More people have caught on to it,” said Amy Simmons, executive director of the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the parade. “Last year, we had the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen at the Christmas parade — even the day parades. I’m expecting that again this year.”

This year’s theme is “Christmas DE-Lights,” and parade participants will aim to dazzle with light displays, fire trucks and more.

D&D Stained Glass is sponsoring the parade this year, something for which Simmons said she was grateful.

“I do want to thank D&D Stained Glass for stepping up and sponsoring the parade. No one has to pay an entry fee.”

Simmons added that PNC Bank also donated money to pay each marching band to participate.

“We have three bands this year — Central, Indian River, and Delmar High School is new this year. I’m thrilled because we’ve always had the two, and I’ve always wanted at least one more, so I’m very excited about that.”

Those who wish to participate in the parade may enter by contacting the Chamber no later than Friday, Dec. 5, by 4:30 p.m.

The parade will kick off from M&T Bank on Mitchell Street, turning right on Wilson Highway, followed by a left on Railroad Avenue. The procession will then make a right on Main Street, going through downtown Millsboro before turning right on State Street and ending at Millsboro Middle School.

Brian K. Hall will be emceeing the parade again this year and will be set up between PNC Bank and Dollar General on Main Street. Professional judges from Shamrock Judge of Pennsylvania will be hitting the pavement to judge each entry in Dagsboro.

“We will announce the winners the day after the parade, on the Chamber’s website,” Simmons said.

Cheryl’s Dance Alley will be selling hot dogs and hot chocolate near its studio on Main Street. Additionally, a portable toilet will be located in the parking lot of PNC Bank.

The same evening, from 5 to 9 p.m. the Millsboro Art League will be hosting an open house to coincide with the parade. The community is being invited to browse the artwork and warm up with some hot chocolate and treats.

The following night, the Art League will hold its Holiday Party, from 7 to 9 p.m., which is free and open to the public.

Perhaps the biggest star of the parade will be Santa Claus himself, who will be bringing up the rear of the parade.

“The big man himself will make an appearance, and his wife is coming with him this year,” said Simmons.

Following the parade, the Clauses will make their way to Santa’s House on Main Street, next to Dairy Queen, to meet with children who want to tell him what they want for Christmas.

“I hope everyone comes out and has a great time,” added Simmons of the evening.

Georgetown

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its “Simply Christmas” Christmas parade downtown on Thursday, Dec. 4.

The participants, including bands, floats and community organizations were set to be judged in their individual categories, as well as for “Best Theme” and overall “Best in The Show.”

In past years, the parade was known for its balloons, which the Chamber said would still be featured prominently this year.

“Balloons are back by the bunch,” said Chamber Executive Director Karen Duffield. “We will probably have nearly 1,500 helium balloons at this year’s parade, not only for hand-outs for the kids, but for decorating the judges’ stage and around town.”