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Holiday festivities paint downtown W-S

The Christmas tree is lit up Dec. 1 at the 28th annual Winston-Salem Jaycees Holiday Parade and the Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Holiday festivities paint downtown W-S
December 07
10:17 2018

By Nikki Baldwin

The 28th annual Winston-Salem Jaycees Holiday Parade and the Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony was the perfect kickoff to the beginning of the holiday season. The parade was held on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m., beginning on 4th Street, moving down the street and ending at Corpening Plaza for the Tree Lighting ceremony.

The grand marshal for the 28th annual parade was Mark Owens, president and CEO of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. He helped ignite the annual holiday event.

The parade consisted of creative floats, dancers young and old, colorful costumes and spectacular cars. The parade began in 1999 and was created to bring holiday cheer to the Winston-Salem community. Willette Scales has been enjoying the festivities since the first parade. “I have been coming to the parade since the first one and will return next year. I believe everyone should come to the parade to enjoy themselves,” she said.

Scales expressed her favorite aspect about the parade: “I always enjoy all the people smiling in the parade, but my favorite thing I look forward to is the Moe Lucas dance group. I’ve been supporting the Moe Lucas group since my little girl danced with them. I will be back next year to hopefully enjoy the parade for another year.”

The parade is also a family affair, bringing families out to celebrate the holiday. Lashanda Martinwhite explained the importance of the parade to her family. “My family has been coming to the parade for nine years. The parade does not get me in the holiday spirit, but it does get the kids excited and ready for the holidays.”

Martinwhite did express what excites her most about the parade. “The high school bands excite me if they are in the parade, and Santa Claus, which my kids enjoy seeing.”

Following the parade, the Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony was held at Corpening Plaza. The ceremony presented dancing from the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church Liturgical Dancers, singing from Sara Culler, and delicious hot chocolate along with food vendors. The ceremony had a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus before the official lighting of the tree.

The ceremony was enjoyed by all in attendance. Constance Thompson said, “I have been coming to the Tree Lighting Ceremony for three years. The ceremony is important to my kids and it does get us in the Christmas spirit, along with Tanglewood Festival of Lights.”

The anticipation ended with members of Winston-Salem City Council counting down to the lighting of the tree, with all in attendance gasping in amazement at the beautiful decorations.

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