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Festival draws cheer, crowds to downtown Pembroke
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Local Alee Shriners wave Saturday in a decorated classic car as they make their way down Highway 280 during the 29th annual Pembroke Christmas parade. - photo by Crissie Elric

Thousands of area residents lined the streets of downtown Pembroke on Saturday when the 29th annual Christmas Parade and Festival rolled through town.
Crowds lined the streets as early as 10 a.m. to wait for the parade, which boasted more than 100 participants including floats, cars, tractors, bands and more, while more than 60 vendors offered various tasty treats, arts and crafts and more for attendees.
The parade and festival, sponsored by the Bryan County 4-H program, is the largest fundraiser the organization has all year. Bryan County Extension Coordinator Shanna Waters Davis said Monday this was one of the best festivals to date.
“We had over 115 parade entries, which makes that probably our largest parade we’ve had,” she said. “The vendors were excited — they had a good turnout and good response from patrons. We had vendors leave early because they sold out of everything.”
She added that although the day was a little warm, she thought the sunny weather was nothing short of perfect.
“It was a little hard to have a Christmas spirit when it was so warm, but it felt more like Christmas in July,” she said.
While Davis said it would be hard to estimate the size of the crowd, she has heard already many positive comments about the day.
“Everybody in community is saying they couldn’t believe the amount of people in town that day,” she said. “We’ve had overwhelming comments about the parade and festival that we’ve seen on Facebook and people who have stopped by today to thank us for all that we did.”
The event draws hundreds each year from nearby areas. Daniel Anderson came from Claxton to enjoy the event and a family reunion.
“We come every year,” he said Saturday morning. “We’re looking forward to everything.”

See more in the Dec. 12 edition of the News.

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