Bright lights and a cheerful chill in the air mean the holidays are just around the corner in Selbyville, leading up to the 52nd Annual Selbyville Christmas Parade.
Spectators will line the streets when the parade begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. Music, cars, trucks, floats and local celebrities will fill the parade route on Church Street, beginning at town hall and proceeding east to the PNC Bank at Main Street.
The tradition that began in 1960 is sponsored by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, which works with the Town of Selbyville and local fire police for countless hours behind the scenes to prepare holiday magic for the entire community.
“The families that come down are fantastic. You have everything from toddlers to little kids who are just waiting for Santa at the end,” said Helen Ball, operations and events manger at the Chamber. “It really is something that crosses all ages. … People all over the area come.”
Many local businesses create parade floats. Ball said businesses new and old will march this year, from Millville Pet Stop introducing the Santa Paws mascot to NRG Indian River Power Plant, which “always puts a lot of detail into their float.”
The parades are always a place for car lovers, who can see everything from antique cars to custom trucks and fire trucks.
The Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company may have one of the most important jobs of all. Not only do they sell their classic oyster fritters, but Santa Claus himself will ride a fire truck this year.
Miss Delaware, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the 4-H Club and their horses and many civic organizations get a chance to shine on the parade route, as well.
“It’s amazing how the folks grow every year. The participants change every year,” said Ball. “A lot of these kids grow up every year,” from young Cub Scouts to high school band members.
This year, high school marching band honors will be awarded in memory of Jacqueline M. Pavik, an Indian River High School marching band member and IRHS student who passed away in August.
The best of each marching category will receive awards, including the Overall Dazzler first-place prize.
“The first-place Overall Dazzler, sponsored by the Coastal Point, is judged for creativity and their level of enthusiasm. Are they just driving or engaging the crowd?” Ball said of the criteria.
Ball, on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, thanked supporting sponsors: Great Scott Broadcasting’s B95.3, Mediacom Residential and PNC Bank. The Coastal Point is the Overall Dazzler Sponsor. Ball quipped that Mind, Body & Sole wellness center is the Santa Sponsor, and very important, because they help Santa travel from the North Pole to Delaware.
In preparation for the parade, Church Street and Duke Street in Selbyville will close at 5:30 p.m. to regular vehicular traffic.