Christmas parades warm up the season

It’s time to bundle up, grab some hot chocolate and prepare those Christmas lists, and local towns will welcome the holiday season with the annual Christmas parades.

All the local parades begin at 7 p.m. The Selbyville Christmas Parade is Friday, Dec. 4. Millsboro’s Candy Cane Christmas Parade is Wednesday, Dec. 9. The Dagsboro Christmas Parade is Thursday, Dec. 10. The Georgetown Christmas Parade also steps off on Thursday, Dec. 3, with a theme of “A Holly Jolly Christmas!”

Selbyville parade

The Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce is inviting the public to enjoy a night of holiday merriment at the 55th Annual Selbyville Christmas Parade on Dec. 4 from 5 to 9 p.m.

For the second year, Santa’s House will be open before the parade, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., located on Church Street across from Dollar General.

“Kids can come to Santa’s House and give him their list for Christmas,” said Chamber Event & Member Relations Manager Lauren Weaver, with a laugh.

“Delaware Read Aloud is going to be there selling cookies and cocoa at Santa’s House, and all the proceeds will benefit Delaware Read Aloud. The cocoa and cookies are donated by One Coastal in Fenwick Island.”

Weaver said more than 50 groups have registered for the parade, which includes antique cars, marching bands and fire companies.

“It’s always amazing to me that, even before we put the announcement out that registration is open, we have people contacting us, ‘When are we going to be able to register for the Selbyville Christmas Parade?’

“It’s a really fun tradition for the family and just for people being involved. It gives people an opportunity to showcase their business or their hobbies without charge. It’s just a fun form of expression.”

Judging the parade this year are Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation President Bridget Taylor, Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce President Richard Mais and Selbyville Town Manager Mike Deal, who will be seated at the corner of Main and Church streets. Registrants will be competing for awards in categories including including adult marching unit, commercial float and Overall Dazzler, provided by trophy sponsor Coastal Point. Emily Lampa from WMDT-TV will emcee the parade.

“Holly Kia is our presenting sponsor this year, so they’ll be the grand marshal of the parade,” she added.

Weaver said everyone is welcome to make a night of it, by arriving in Selbyville a few hours earlier to get food and visit with Santa.

“They’ll be plenty of food, like oyster sandwiches. The Fresh Farmer from [Route] 404 is coming in for the first time this year, and they’ll have hot cobbler and apple pie, and all that good stuff.

“It should be a nice night. Everything is set up at 5 o’clock. Even though the parade doesn’t start until 7, there’ll be vendors in town and Santa in town. So, come early and get some good food, and find your spot for the parade.”

Millsboro’s Candy Cane Christmas Parade

The Millsboro Chamber of Commerce will host the 65th Annual Candy Cane Christmas Parade on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. The event, which is sponsored by D&D Stained Glass, will feature more than 50 entries marching in the parade.

Lineup will start at 5:30 p.m. at M&T Bank on Mitchell Street and will march down to Main Street.

Those who will be marching have the opportunity to win awards in a number of categories, including marching band, commercial float and non-commercial float.

“It’s going to be a good-sized parade this year,” said Amy Simmons, the Chamber’s executive director. “The FFA, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, Brownies, Boy Scout groups, churches and other non-profits, as well as our businesses, will be in it.”

This year, the registrant marchers will be judged by a group led by Bob Cardaneo.

“We do have new judges this year,” said Simmons. “Bob Cardaneo, one of our board members, is heading this up. He is a certified judge and also a member of the drum and bugle corps in New Jersey. He has judged parades in New York and New Jersey.

“He and a couple of his friends have stepped up and offered to judge the parade this year. We’re excited for them to be here this year. We just thought we would try something new this year, and Bob was more than willing to step up and judge.”

The event will be emceed by Brian K. Hall, who will be stationed by Dollar General on Main Street.

The parade will be closed out by Santa Claus, who will then meet with children at Santa’s House, in the open lot next to Dairy Queen on Main Street.

“I have it on good authority that Mrs. Claus will be making a reappearance this year,” added Simmons.

For those who want to visit Santa on another night, Santa will open his house on Dec. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 5 from 3 to 5 p.m., Dec. 12 from 3 to 5 p.m., Dec. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 19 from 3 to 5 p.m., and Dec. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Simmons said she hopes the public will visit downtown Millsboro next Wednesday to enjoy an evening of holiday fun.

“We’re sure it’s going to be a little cool — hopefully, not too cold. We’re just hoping for a nice turnout.”

Dagsboro parade

The second annual Dagsboro Christmas Parade will take place on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. (The rain date is Dec. 11.)

Parade-goers can enjoy fire trucks, floats, marching units and Dagsboro’s own Indian River High School marching band. Last year’s parade ended with Santa Claus himself atop a Dagsboro fire engine.

After almost 30 years, people were happy to see Dagsboro’s parade return in 2014.

“Last year was kind of getting our feet wet,” said Brian Baull, organizer and vice-mayor. “We’re the newest parade on the block. … We’re looking to grow it every year.”

The parade starts at Indian River High School on Main Street, marching north, then turning west on Clayton Street to the Dagsboro Fire Hall. The Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department and its Auxiliary will host a holiday gathering there.

“Santa will be right there, handing out candy canes, meeting kids,” and providing a free holiday photo-op for families.

Guests can also get silly at the AECOM photo booth. And, in planning for the future, the Town of Dagsboro and AECOM will invite people to complete surveys to help design a downtown development district plan. Residents and anyone who visits Dagsboro are welcome to give input on what they’d like to see in Dagsboro’s future.

“We’ll light the town up. People can see what cool things we have to offer,” Baull said. “Again, [it’s] a nice family-friendly thing that doesn’t cost a thing.”

To learn more, contact Dagsboro Town Hall at (302) 732-3777 or

As Baull said, “How can you not enjoy a parade?”