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Having parade at night is likely new tradition
Pembroke has downtown Christmas festival
A youngster steers his electric "Jeep" along the route of the Pembroke Christmas parade Saturday night. - photo by Photo by LeeAnna Tatum

While it may have felt cold enough for it, snow was the one thing missing from Pembroke’s Christmas festivities Saturday.

The 34th annual Christmas parade was held after dark this year with plenty of lights and good cheer to go around.

The weather may have kept some people at home, and made hot chocolate vendors more popular than those selling ice-cream, but those who braved the cold were excited to see Pembroke’s first parade of lights.

Pembroke native Becky Crowe has been attending the parades since they first started and was looking forward to seeing something different this year with the parade being at night.

"I’m interested to see that, I’m very excited," she said.

Despite the cold, she and her family enjoyed a full day of festivities, taking in all the booths and some of the stage entertainment, including her granddaughter’s dance routine.

"I can’t remember the last time the parade has been this cold," Crowe said.

The parade went smoothly, emceed as usual by Sonny Dixon and started off with grand marshals Jeanne McCormick and Mary Anna Hite, and ending with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Immediately following the parade, the town’s Christmas tree was lit and more entertainment followed on stage.

The Bridge, with a large and lighted manger, won best float, runnerup was Junior ABATE with a motorcycle and sleigh. Best vehicle went to Bryan County Schools Department of Transportation for a school bus Rudolph. Storehouse Salvage was runnerup with a decked out flatbed. The Southern Sandrails’ dune buggies won best use of lights. And Santa’s sleigh by PAC was the runner up in that category.

Downtown Development Authority Director Alex Floyd reported a good turnout, considering the weather, and that the vendors overall were pleased. The response to holding the parade at night seemed to have been overwhelmingly positive, he said. It’s possible that a new tradition has been born.

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