DOBSON — The Dobson Lions Club and town recreation committee have formed a seasonal partnership to add to the long-running Lions Christmas Parade with a first-ever tree lighting ceremony Saturday.
“The parks and recreation committee thought we needed more to offer the community at Christmas time,” explained Dobson Recreation Committee Chairman Rachel Pace. “Our parade is great, but we felt something additional needed to be added for the holiday season.” She said in addition to the parade, there will be caroling, and refreshments before the lighting of the 18-foot fir tree in front of town hall.
Pace said the parade line-up will begin at Surry Central High School. There is no registration for floats but participants are asked to meet at Surry Central at 2:30 p.m. The parade is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. and begins at the high school and proceeds for about a mile on Main Street to the town hall.
She said the parade has been staged for more than 25 years and remains unique.
“We are one of the few towns left that allow the parade participants to give out candy,” said Pace. “We also are looking to again have anywhere from 60-70 horses involved in the parade. We also do a lot of farm equipment. We look to have lots of motorcycle participants this year and one float will represent the story, ‘A Christmas Carol.’”
Pace said she feels the participation in the parade has remained strong because so many different types of groups are in the event. She said a grand marshall will also be named and often includes a television personality. She said the Surry Central marching band is also slated to perform in the parade as well as an appearance by Santa Claus.
“We encourage persons to stay from beginning to end of these events,” suggested Pace. “Because we are offering more events, we had to move the traditional time for the parade from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. this year. We are hoping to start the tree lighting at 5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.”
She said Dobson’s canned food drive will continue through December. Citizens are encouraged to take canned food to donate to the town hall to receive one dollar off their water bill for every can of food donated, up to $5. Pace said a large box has been placed in front of town hall for these donations.
Another first for the town this year is called the Christmas Ambush. Officials plan to stage a reverse Grinch as it were, for a needy Dobson family. Pace said nominations are being sought currently.
“We are trying to get families to nominate another family in need due to sickness or loss of a job for instance,” said Pace. “Christmas week we plan on getting a friend of the family to let us in their home and we will decorate, set up the tree including gifts and prepare a meal for them.”
Pace said nominations can be made online at the town’s website, www.dobson-nc.com. She said only a few nominations have been received so they will be taking nominations for another week.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.