Many say there wouldn’t be a Pembroke Christmas parade or the surrounding festivities if it wasn’t for Diane Moore.
That’s why they decided she should be grand marshal of this year’s event.
Shanna Davis, Bryan County 4-H agent said since Moore started the parade and worked so intently with it though the years, it was fitting for her to lead the event during the 25th anniversary.
"She started it and has been so involved over the years, we wanted to honor her for all she’s done," Davis said.
Originally from Cochran, Ga, Moore said when she moved to Pembroke in 1980, she missed the Christmas parade that had been such a big event in her life.
"The parade in Cochran was always something we looked forward to. My husband and I had been in Pembroke for three years and realized how much we missed the annual parade," Moore said.
According to Moore, she got together with some people, presented an idea for a Christmas parade to the City of Pembroke, and it grew from there, starting with just the parade the first year, graduating into a parade and festival the next, and getting bigger thereafter."It was a surprise when they asked me, and I feel very honored. Even though my husband and I weren’t born here, Pembroke is our home and has always been home to our children. Being asked to grand marshal really means a lot to me," Moore said.
According to Davis, the parade is expected to be an even bigger event this year.
"It’s the 25th anniversary, and there are going to be a lot of different activities this year that we haven’t had before. I think we are going to have a bigger crowd than we’ve had in the past," Davis said.
The events start early Saturday at 7 a.m. with registration for the one-mile and five-mile walk-run-stroll, a new addition for the 25th anniversary. There will be many different age categories in male and female divisions.
Entrants can run, walk or stroll their wheelchairs in the 1-mile run that begins at 8 a.m. The 5-mile is open to runners and begins after the one-mile.
Trophies will be awarded in all divisions, with overall male and female winners as well. The awards ceremony for the races will be at 10 a.m.
Also new to the festivities this year are car and motorcycle shows. Various awards in several categories will be given, according to Davis.
The festival begins at 9 a.m. and the parade at 11 a.m. It’s reported that Santa will make an appearance in the parade.
Local talent, including local Christian rock group Driven, will be performing through the day.
The silent auction being conducted by the 4-H will end at 3 p.m. and winners will be announced on the stage at that time.
The parade and festival is the sole fund-raising benefit for the Bryan County 4-H program and will include activities such as vendor booths with arts, crafts, and food, entertainment, carnival games and prizes, silent auction, moon walk, large slide, bungee jump and rock wall, to name a few.
Troop Master Dave Williams said Boy Scout Troop 357 will have a booth at the festival where they will be selling blueberry crunch, among other things.
The Alee Shriners will be selling whole, smoked Boston butts, barbeque sandwiches, Brunswick stew and other items.
Davis said all vendor booth space was reserved and people were on a waiting list in case someone else cancelled.
"This is a big thing for Pembroke. There is going to be a lot to do and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I expect a big crowd," she said.
In a separate ceremony, Fort Stewart and the US Army will present Wreath Across America.
The wreath will be given an escort by the Pembroke Police Department from the garrison gate / fire town boundary along Hwy. 119 to Memorial Park. Then, at 2 p.m. the wreath will be set at the base of the flagpole that flies the stars and stripes and the POW-MIA flag in Pembroke’s Memorial Park.
Outline of Events
7 a.m. – Registration for the one-mile and five-mile run-walk-stroll
8 a.m. – One-mile event begins, five-mile follows
9 a.m. – Festival begins
10 a.m. – Awards ceremony
11 a.m. – Parade begins
3 p.m. – Silent auction ends