Local volunteers are not going to let the positive momentum from Carroll County’s Harvest Festival get “grinched” as the Town, Carroll County and the Friends of Hillsville look forward to the upcoming Tree Lighting Ceremony & Christmas Parade. The theme of this year’s parade is “A Bluegrass Country Christmas.”
Christmas Parade Director/Friends of Hillsville Spokesperson Jessica Talley said the Tree Lighting and Parade is scheduled for December 2. Downtown Hillsville’s Main Street will be closed from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Tree Lighting Ceremony is set for 6 p.m. on the Historic Court House Lawn. The tentative agenda includes brief comments from County Administrator Steve Truitt, Hillsville Mayor Gregory Crowder and Hillsville Town Manager Reta Jackson.
“This is very much a joint effort of the Town, Friends of Hillsville, Carroll County,” Talley said. “The local businesses, individuals and the community coming out to support this makes for a great effort which makes it a great event.”
Carroll County Fire and Rescue will oversee the lawn’s fire pits which may be used for warmth (and S’mores) by participants. The Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church Choir will perform Christmas carols during the Lighting Ceremony and the group “Changing Lanes” will provide plenty of Bluegrass music to go along with the event’s theme.
Talley said the lineup for the Parade is set for 6:15 p.m. at the Carroll County Government complex. Children (from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) may visit with Santa, who will be accompanied by elves, on the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home front porch. Friends of Hillsville members will assist in handing out goodies and stockings.
Three hundred Christmas stockings will be given out from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to the first 300 children at the Hillsville Town Office on Main Street. Refreshments, courtesy of High Country Services Funeral & Cremations, will include hot chocolate and s’mores.
“Any business is welcome to come, hand out goodies or stuff the children’s Christmas stockings (from 5-7 p.m.) on Main Street,” Talley said. “They could even bring (additional) Christmas stockings for children.” Interested businesses may contact the Town of Hillsville at 276-728-2128 or the Carroll County Office of Tourism at 276-730-3100 for more information.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top floats in three Christmas Parade categories – best theme, best overall and best original. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1115 Chaplain Norman Goad will serve as the Grand Marshal for the parade. Members of the Town Beautification Committee will serve as judges for the floats.
According to the group’s Facebook page, “Changing Lanes” is “a hard-driving bluegrass/gospel band from the heart of the Appalachians.” Its hometown is Laurel Fork. Band members include Jesse Allen: Lead Guitar/Vocals; Ethan Edwards: Mandolin, Banjo/Vocals; and Alan Young: Banjo, Mandolin/Bass Vocals.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.