12/08/13 — Parkstown not letting lack of parade dampen spirit

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Parkstown not letting lack of parade dampen spirit

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 8, 2013 1:50 AM

Stringent new state rules might have been the Grinch that stole the Parkstown Christmas Parade, but they aren't keeping this close-knit community from celebrating the holiday season.

Instead of a parade, community leaders have pulled together a Christmas Festival complete with fireworks to be held Thursday.

"We are trying to have a community gathering with caroling and food," festival chairman Andrew Jackson said.

The festival will get under way at 4:30 p.m. at J.W. Academy, 1044 LaGrange Road, and end about 7:30 p.m. following the fireworks display, Jackson said.

Activities will be set up outside, as well as inside the building, he said.

Local churches will provide the carolers and there will be free food and drinks. Also on tap are face painting, a 50-50 raffle, prizes and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand and will pose for pictures.

The festival will include a version of the "Most Spectacular Holiday Presentation" contest for costumes, skits, sleighs, tractors, etc., Jackson said.

The Eastern Wayne High School Band is scheduled to perform.

The fireworks display will start as "soon as it is dark enough," probably about 7 p.m., Jackson said.

The public's participation is being sought to help organizers achieve their goal of having people return to the area and to celebrate the season, he said.

Jackson said the community would still love to have a parade, but that time had run out to meet all the new state requirements that include liability insurance and waivers signed by everyone who participates in the parade.

He said he was unsure if the community would try to bring back the parade next year.

For information, email to Jackson at Andrew@jdgnc.com or call him at 919-440-0199.