DOBSON — Holiday festivities are planned in Dobson, with a tree lighting and a parade slated for the coming days.
On Thursday the town will host its annual tree-lighting ceremony at Dobson Square Park, followed Saturday by the traditional Christmas parade, sponsored by the Dobson Lion’s Club.
According to Misty Marion, town municipal services manager , Dobson will play host to its fifth-annual tree-lighting ceremony. The event kicks off Thursday with holiday music at 6 p.m., with the lights turned on at 6:30 p.m.
Marion said much is in store for the ceremony, which is being held at the park for the second year. The town has a tree which will stand about 30 feet high. Santa Claus will also be on hand to gather Christmas wishes, and the Dobson Community Library will provide hot chocolate.
It should be an enjoyable evening for those who attend, according to Marion.
“It’s a good event to bring the community together,” said Marion. “We can all enjoy the spirit of the season together.”
She said folks usually mingle for a while following the lighting, but most will have dispersed by about 7 p.m. The first 100 visitors will also receive a gift from the town.
Santa’s second appearance
Santa will then take a couple of days off before appearing in Dobson’s Christmas Parade on Saturday, set to begin at 2 p.m.
“We do this as payback to the community for helping us with our projects,” said Jerry Weaver, who supervises the parade for the Lion’s Club.
Weaver has been organizing the event for about two decades, and he said this year’s parade will look much like those of past years. He expects between 150 and 200 participants.
According to Weaver, many area police, fire, EMS and rescue squads take part in the parade, which begins at Surry Community College and ends at NAPA Auto Parts, near Town Hall. There are no entry fees, and there is no need to register to take part in the parade.
Many area churches and non-profit groups march or ride in the parade, said Weaver. Lots of folks also take advantage of the parade as a means to show off their antique cars and tractors. Horses are also often included in the parade lineup.
Weaver noted the only vehicles barred from taking part in the parade are all-terrain vehicles such as 4-wheelers and dirt bikes.
The grand marshal for Saturday’s parade will be Kermit Draughn, who served for many years on the Dobson Board of Commissioners and on the Surry County Board of Commissioners, according to Weaver.
The Surry Central High School JROTC program will lead the lineup along Main Street, which Weaver noted is usually packed with spectators. There will also be plenty of candy tossed along the route.
Those who are looking to be included in the parade should be at the college around 1 p.m., according to Weaver.
Marion also stated the Surry Central golf team will be collecting canned food items along the parade route.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.