On Sunday, the annual Christmas parade will kick off the holiday activities in downtown Marion.
The procession down Main Street is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. The theme for the parade is “Serving Others,” according to a news release from the Marion Business Association.
And keeping with the theme of serving others, the grand marshal for the parade will be current City Councilman and former Mayor A. Everette Clark. After 45 years in city government, Clark chose not seek re-election this year.
Clark first came to Marion with Moore’s Department Store in 1963 as the store manager. Later, he was the owner of Robinson’s Clothing Store. Clark was first appointed to Marion City Council in 1972 and was elected mayor of Marion in 1988. He served as mayor for 24 years and as city councilman for more than 21 years.
Over these years, he has been very active in the N.C. League of Municipalities and the National League of Municipalities and Small Cities Council. He also served on the board of directors of North Carolina Rural Center. He is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the state of North Carolina and their communities above the call of duty and who have made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.
Clark is a member at the First Baptist Church of Marion, having served in many church positions. He and his wife, Nancy, are planning to spend more time with their family including two sons and daughter-in-laws and four grandchildren.
McDowell’s own award-winning McDowell High Marching Band will be featured at the beginning of the parade. Hill Crest Marching Band is invited to be in the parade.
And of course, Santa Claus will be the guest of honor at the end of the parade.
All parade float entries are required to be registered. The registration number is to be displayed in the window of the parade entry, be fully decorated with a Christmas theme and have all passengers loaded when arriving for parade line-up.
Deadline for registration is Thursday, Nov. 16. Any entry not registered with a number and decorated will be turned away at line-up.
Antique cars are not required to be decorated or pre-register. Emergency vehicles with PA systems are encouraged to play Christmas music.
No candy is allowed to the thrown from any vehicle or float. Handouts by persons walking in the parade route are acceptable and encouraged.
The MBA and city of Marion will sponsor the only Santa Claus. No other Santa will be allowed in the parade. Churches may have only one bus/unit in the parade and it must be decorated.
Line-up begins at 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Rose’s. All parade vehicles are to enter Robinson Road behind Rose’s and come into the parking lot. Vehicles will then be entered into line-up.
Horses will line-up on Monte Vista Avenue. Horse trailers are to be taken to the Public Works Department behind the Hook & Anchor. Horses will continue together as a unit to Public Works. All horses are to remain on Monte Vista until placed into line-up. No horses are allowed in shopping center parking lot.
The parade procession will begin at Fern Street and North Main Street and will finish at Spring Street. Walking units will enter the parade at the Community Building. The parade is to stay together until it reaches Morgan Street and all entries are to go to the end of the parade route before disbanding.
Children on floats are to be picked up at the Hook & Anchor on Rutherford Road.
The Marion Business Association is still accepting entries. For more information, Lou Godfrey at 652-2215 to register to enter the Christmas parade and receive a registration number, and a copy of the parade guidelines. The city of Marion is the official sponsor of the parade.