Annual holiday parade set for Friday

Area residents can get what will likely be their first glimpse of Santa Claus this year at the popular Selbyville Christmas Parade, set to step off Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. Santa will again conclude the parade this year with his arrival via horse-drawn carriage.

The 2005 edition of the parade will be bigger and better than ever, according Amy Tingle, events coordinator for the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, which is organizing the parade.

Tingle said this year’s parade will feature more than 60 entries — more than last year — in categories ranging from floats, custom and antique cars to adult and youth marching groups, fire company entries, beauty queens and marching bands.

Prizes will be awarded for parade participants in nine different categories, with first- and second-place winners receiving a certificate and cash prize (sponsored by local businesses). Third-place winners in each of the categories will receive a certificate.

And, new this year, each of the first-place winners will be eligible for the “Overall Dazzler” award, which will mean a trophy and additional cash prize for that top pick.

Announcing the winners — and the parade, in all its glory — will be X-106.9 radio personality Skip Dixon.

And the parade’s other big celebrity — the guy in the red suit — will be picking the winner in the newest addition to the parade: a 50/50 raffle in the mode of the Halloween parade drawing that has done so well for the Selbyville Lions Club and the lucky 50/50 winner.

The Chamber will benefit from the holiday parade drawing. Tickets for the 50/50 will still available at the Chamber prior to the parade and at the parade location in downtown Selbyville before the drawing.

While early this week temperatures for the parade looked to be a bit nippy, there will be plenty of hot drinks and food to keep fingers and tummies warm, Tingle said. Everything from hot chocolate and coffee to hamburgers, hotdogs and oyster fritters will be for sale at the parade.

Participants will start lining up for the parade at 5:30 p.m., near the reviewing stand at Church and Main streets in Selbyville. The whole shebang is scheduled to step off down the parade route at 7 p.m., to the delight of holiday and parade fans of all ages.

For more information on the parade, call Tingle at (302) 539-2100, ext. 15.

Tingled noted that tickets for the other big Chamber-related holiday event — the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation’s Caribbean Christmas — were still available leading up to the Saturday party.

The Cottage Café, The Coastal Point, Beach Liquors, Bethany Beach Books, host Mango’s and the Chamber office will offer tickets until they’re all gone. (Last year’s event was a sell-out, so that’s a distinct possibility.) If tickets still remain, Tingle said the Chamber will be open Saturday for late-comers who decide to take in the event — Tommy Bahama formal! — at the last minute.

Tickets cost $35 per person, which is tax-deductible. Proceeds go to benefit the QRCF’s scholarship and other charitable works in the area throughout the year.

The Dec. 3 event will feature food, drinks, live entertainment, and live and silent auctions. Running from 7 to 11 p.m., it figures to be a natural final stop for Bethany Beach residents who take in the town’s own annual holiday bash with the Holiday Happening for families Saturday afternoon, followed by adults caroling around the town on the town trolley.

For more information on the Caribbean Christmas, call Bob Volpe at (302) 537-7807 or e-mail