SEE OUR PHOTO GALLERY of the parade
So much for trying to second-guess Mother Nature.
After moving Saturday's start time from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to avoid inclement weather, and then have an updated weather forecast call for worse conditions at that new time, organizers of the 2018 Richmond Hill Christmas Parade ended up looking like geniuses when hardly a drop of rain fell.
The City's worse fear of thunder and lightning never materialized and those who brought umbrellas hardly had to use them past the first few minutes. By the time the hour-long parade ended, attendees left smiling, enjoying the candy tossed from floats, and putting another parade (this, the 23rd annual) behind them.
Throughout the morning, local residents took to social media to inquire whether the parade was still on. Many were concerned about the weather forecast and urged the City to reschedule. The City's response was that the parade was still scheduled, but to monitor their Facebook page for further information.
The final word came shortly after 11 a.m, with this message from the City: "Barring thunder and lightning, the parade will proceed."
"Unacceptable," one person wrote on the City of Richmond Hill's Facebook page. Another wrote, "Too wet. We are heading to the mall." Most of the responses questioned why the City didn't reschedule. However, one person had this perspective, "They don’t cancel the Macy's parade (in New York City) when it snows, and the Hill parade is not getting canceled because of rain.... bring an umbrella!"
Another person included the hashtag "#We are Richmond Hill rain or shine!"
Holiday celebrations and parades scheduled in Vidalia, Brunswick, Guyton, and Wayne County were all postponed or cancelled due to the weather.
As always, the Richmond Hill parade made its way west down Ford Avenue, wrapping up around city hall. Eighty parade entries were announced. The theme this year was "Santa's Christmas Helpers."
This year’s grand marshal was longtime Richmond Hill resident Gordon Holland.
Holland, a World War II Navy veteran who served aboard minesweepers, is a Tattnall County native. He worked for nearly 40 years at Union Bag, which became Union Camp, and moved with his family to Richmond Hill in 1956, according to Mayor Russ Carpenter, who lauded Holland for his community service.
Holland played softball and volunteered at Richmond Hill Recreation Department, attended church at Richmond Hill Methodist where he was a “devoted Sunday school member, usher and greeter and annual barbecue volunteer.”