Florence Holiday Parade marches down Evans Street
FLORENCE, S.C. – Pee Dee residents lined the sides of West Evans Street on Saturday morning for a view of the Florence Holiday Parade.
The parade started at the intersection of West Evans Street and Edisto Drive and worked its way east on West Evans, ending at the Business Technological Center (BTC) Building at the corner of N.B. Baroody and East Evans streets.
The parade, a Christmas tradition in Florence, was originally scheduled for Dec. 8, but was moved to Dec. 15 because of weather. More weather forced the parade to move from Dec. 15 to Saturday.
Pat Gibson-Hye Moore, the parade’s vice chairwoman, said rescheduling made planning of the parade difficult, but it was all worth it in the end.
“It was difficult,” Moore said. “We were almost out of the mood, but today we really felt that spirit as we went down through the parade. Because of the rescheduling, it was tough, but it was nice to see that the crowd still came out. We kept saying ‘Happy New Year’ and we made sure to let the kids know that Santa Claus was already looking forward to seeing them next year. It was much better than we anticipated. We also want to thank the police department for their efforts. They did a wonderful job.”
Linda Becote, chairwoman for the Christmas Parade, echoed Moore’s sentiments.
“We were afraid the crowd wouldn’t come out, but today as we traveled down Evans, we saw that people came out to support it,” Becote said. “The kids were all excited also. We want to thank the people who were involved in the parade and those that came out. We also want to thank those that couldn’t come out because of rescheduling and things of that nature.”
Attendees were able to see several celebratory floats, exotic cars, horses and a plethora of fire trucks and police cars during the event.
Brittany Flowers, age 7, said her favorite part of the parade was the horses. Her mother, Ryanne, said the parade was something for her family to do on Saturday morning.
“It’s right here before New Year’s, so that was good,” Flowers said. “We just enjoy seeing the different floats and stuff in the parade. The kids love getting to pick up the candy, so it’s just a fun time.”
Joan Timmons brought her grandson, Aaron, to the parade. She said she had come to the parade for the past three years.
“He enjoys getting the candy and seeing the firetrucks,” Timmons said. “I hate they couldn’t have it before Christmas, but at least we still get to have it. It feels great outside, and it’s a perfect day for it.”
As part of the event, the Florence Holiday Parade awarded several winners for a variety of different categories. Those trophy winners were Swift Car Club, South Florence ROTC, Horton Horse Club, Palmetto Street Church of God, Dancing Dolls, Academy and Finklea Law Firm.