Sudan Mini-Rigs

Sudan Mini-Rigs perform in the Mount Olive Christmas Parade in December. The Sudan Mini-Rigs return to Goldsboro for the Sudan Shriners’ annual winter parade on Jan. 26.

The 2019 Sudan Shriners Winter Ceremonial and election of officers will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26, in Goldsboro.

Some meetings will be held on Thursday night, Jan. 24, but the formal program opens on Friday.

“Most of our visitors will come to town on Friday,” said George Raecher, Sudan recorder and public relations director. “We have a gathering Friday night at the Maxwell Center. That is when the sitting potentate will receive checks, give out awards, certificates or whatever. Then they have a dance.

“Saturday is really the big day. We have a big meeting that starts at 8 a.m. at Wayne Middle High Academy. That’s the annual stated meeting, which in January is when we elect officers for 2019. That will last from 8 until 9:30 or 10.”

The ceremonial could draw as many as 1,500 to 2,000 Shriners to Goldsboro for the two-day event, Raecher said.

“The biggest public event will be the Shriners Parade on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 26,” he said. “Nobles and ladies from the Wayne Shrine Club will be assisting with this event.”

The annual winter ceremonial parade will be held in downtown Goldsboro just off South Center Street and will feature Shrine units, such as the Sudan Mini-Rigs.

“The parade will probably start at 11,” Raecher said. “That’s the normal start time.”

The new Shrine candidates will be introduced during a formal induction that Saturday night at the Maxwell Center.

Hurricane Florence is still haunting the Sudan Shrine, and this is the first time in memory that the event has not been held in New Bern.

“We have a number of parade units still suffering because of that, not just the parade units, but families,” Raecher said. “We normally have 35 to 40 units at every parade. The 15th and 16th of November we were in Wilson for the fall ceremonial, and we only had 30 parade units.”

Best Western Express will be the headquarters hotel, he said.