LAURINBURG — Entries in this year’s Christmas parade, organized by the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce, will proceed down Main Street on Saturday with a little extra pomp courtesy of the U.S. 2nd Marine Division Band.
With 122 entries including seven commercial floats, the parade will depart from a lineup on Railroad Street at 2 p.m. for its traditional route through downtown Laurinburg.
“The Marine Corps band is coming and they will lead us off right after the sheriff, the fire chief, and the police chief, so we’re very excited about that,” said chamber President Janet Smith.
“We have a number of bands and the weather’s going to be perfect.”
The chamber put Laurinburg’s Christmas parade forward in July for consideration by the Marine band, which will send 40 members from Camp Lejeune to participate.
The Scotland High School marching band, the St. Andrews University Pipe Band, the South Robeson High School marching band, and the Carver and Spring Hill middle school bands will also keep the mood festive with holiday tunes.
Sponsored by the city of Laurinburg, Scotland County, and Gryphon Group Security Solutions, the parade will draw participants from local businesses and civic organizations: from pageant queens in open convertibles to scouting groups and dance troupes to emergency first responders driving enormous fire trucks with horns to match.
“It’s a wonderful mixture of our community here in Scotland County,” Smith said.
A group of Scotland County’s noted public servants — and recipients of Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards for 2015 — will step in as the parade’s grand marshals: Scotland County EMS Director Roylin Hammond, I.E. Johnson Elementary teacher Chaka Davis-Smith, Wagram town commissioner Hyder Massey, and the Saint Luke United Methodist Church Ramp Team, which donates its time to add wheelchair-accessible ramps to the homes of the elderly and disabled.
“The committee wanted to honor volunteerism and those who give so much to our community,” said parade committee chair Dorothy Tyson. “These recipients are a wonderful choice.”
In preparation for the parade, Railroad and Main streets will be closed shortly after noon on Saturday. The parade will end on Plaza Road at the College Plaza Shopping Center, with the final entries dispersing around 4 p.m.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.