By Dean Palmer - Special to the News
The Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa, takes part in the Pilot Mountain Christmas Parade just about every year. -

The sights and sounds of the Christmas season will be on display along Main Street this Saturday evening as the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad and EMS hosts the 46th annual Pilot Mountain Christmas Parade, preceded by the Town of Pilot Mountain’s annual tree-lighting.

Historically, organizers have emphasized making participation as easy as possible with a simple format and no advance registration or entry fees. That, along with the popularity of its evening start, has helped to draw participants and watchers.

“This year we’ve already had several calls and a lot of interest,” noted squad member Chris Wall. “It looks like we’re going to have another large parade and we’re hoping for a good crowd to come out and watch.”

The parade is scheduled to leave East Surry High School at 6 p.m. Line-up will begin in the school parking lot at 4 p.m., continuing until the start of the parade. As in past years, the route will take entries from the school, down Main Street, to the town’s south intersection. While most watchers tend to gather in the downtown area, residents will be able to view the parade from anywhere along the route.

Members of the Pilot Mountain Cardinal Little League football team will serve as grand marshals for this year’s parade, in recognition of their win in the Surry County Little League Super Bowl. The Cardinals claimed the championship on Nov. 5 with a victory over the North Stokes Junior Vikings team.

In response to requests for additional representation from local high school marching bands, Wall said, a pair of area bands will be taking part on Saturday evening. The East Surry Cardinal Marching Band will continue their traditional role at the front of the parade while the band from North Stokes High School will be performing later in the parade.

All participants are welcomed but organizers ask that each entry feature holiday decorations of some type. This includes vehicles bearing business logos. The rescue squad also asks that entries do not include a live Santa as that role is traditionally provided by the squad’s Ladies’ Auxiliary float.

All participants are encouraged to cover the entire route. An escort or, if needed, assistance will be provided for returning to the high school parking lot at the parade’s completion.

While the tossing of candy from entries is encouraged, organizers ask that adults make sure all candy is thrown clear of the route to ensure safety for youths.

At 5:30, the Pilot Mountain Tourism Development Authority will host the annual tree-lighting ceremony in front of the Town of Pilot Mountain Town Hall. Festivities will include Christmas music by the Elementary Honors Chorus alumni under the direction of Sherri Collins.

“On behalf of the rescue squad,” Wall said, “we want to invite everybody to come out for the parade and take part or watch. And we want to encourage the people who do participate to help us spread some Christmas spirit by being creative with some floats along with plenty of lights and bright colors.”

The Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa, takes part in the Pilot Mountain Christmas Parade just about every year. Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa, takes part in the Pilot Mountain Christmas Parade just about every year.

By Dean Palmer

Special to the News