11/29/11 — Parades start marches this weekend

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Parades start marches this weekend

By From staff reports
Published in News on November 29, 2011 1:46 PM

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Santa Claus makes an appearance at the 2010 Goldsboro Jaycees Christmas Parade. This year's march will be Saturday, one of many parades scheduled.

Santa Claus will be busy over the next week or so, if only to make appearances at the many Christmas parades to be held in Wayne County and surrounding areas.

No less than eight parades are scheduled through Dec. 11, with four this Saturday -- and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base officials will light the installation's tree Monday at 5 p.m.

Mount Olive will hold its parade Saturday starting at 10 a.m. Parades in Princeton and Fremont will each be held at 1 p.m., and the Goldsboro Jaycees Christmas Parade will begin at 4 p.m.

The remaining parade schedule will include Pikeville's march on Sunday, starting at 3 p.m., the Parkstown parade on Thursday, Dec. 8, starting at 3:45 p.m., the Cherry-O'Berry Center parade on Friday, Dec. 9, starting at 3:30 p.m., and the Eureka parade on Sunday, Dec. 11, starting at 3 p.m.

The Goldsboro Jaycees Christmas Parade will begin from the southern end of Center Street and continue east onto Walnut Street before heading up John Street. The route then continues west onto Mulberry Street before returning to Center Street heading north past City Hall.

Jaycees President Alicia Goldsby said organizers had exceeded their goal of 100 participants already, but were still anticipating a few last-second additions to the parade.

"There are some groups that come at the last minute," she said, adding that organizers in past years have come to expect late arrivals, especially within law enforcement agencies. A group from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and another from the Goldsboro Police Department are expected to officially join the procession between now and Saturday.

Having 101 participants might sound like an accomplishment, Ms. Goldsby said, but it's even more amazing to note that some of those participants are groups of as many as 90 people -- there are eight school marching bands participating.

"Every school that has a band, they're marching," she said. "It's really amazing. There will be hundreds of people participating in this parade. The fever is really high to participate and be involved and make sure your group is active in what's going on."

This year's parade is within sight of last year's record-setting number of participants, which totaled 106 parade groups.

But regardless of the record, this year's parade will have one unique feature in that its grand marshals include Hailey Best, a Goldsboro native and the 2011 Miss North Carolina.

"We're really excited about our grand marshals," Ms. Goldsby said.

As usual, the Jaycees sought out Mayor Al King to head up the parade, but while they were awaiting his answer, they found out Ms. Best was interested in participating as well.

"We got Miss North Carolina on board and of course tried to use that as a bribing tool, but (King) didn't need to be bribed at all," Ms. Goldsby joked. "He said he wanted to drive her himself."

But the best way to make sure you see Miss North Carolina and King, Ms. Goldsby said, is to get to the parade ahead of time to grab a good viewing spot.

"Get there early and if they're planning on viewing the parade from Center Street they need to get there early because some roads will be blocked off," she said. "Other alternatives are down John Street. If people want to avoid the crowd, they can park on those outside streets along John Street."

The street closings from east to west are Mulberry, Walnut and Chestnut streets from James Street to William Street and Spruce and Pine streets from George Street to John Street. Center Street from Ash Street to Elm Street, James Street from Chestnut Street to Elm Street and John Street from Ash Street to Chestnut Streets are the north/south running roads that will be closed. Traffic on those roads will be restricted from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All of the roads will be closed from 3:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Ms. Goldsby added that a presale for the parade DVDs went well, especially since this will be the first year the parade will be offered on DVD. The video will be shot in high definition and feature multiple cameras, including one from above for a new perspective on an old holiday tradition.

"It's going to be a really nice look," she said.

Those interested in purchasing the DVDs can email their request to goldsboro_jaycee@yahoo. com.