Pick a peck of panoplied parades
It’s time to bundle up for the excitement of the 2019 Christmas parades.
The Georgetown Christmas Parade is set for Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. The Selbyville Christmas Parade returns on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. The Millsboro Christmas Parade follows on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. The Dagsboro Christmas Parade will be Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.
It’s always a time of bright lights, local marching bands and a chance to see Santa Claus riding on local fire trucks. Look out for classic cars, local business floats, pageant winners and even spelling bee champions. Organizers from each parade said they are grateful to the community sponsors who make these traditions possible.
Sometimes the best way to handle the cold is to embrace it. Guests can bundle up with plenty of clothing layers, blankets and gloves. Bring chairs, an insulated bottle of hot chocolate and a loved one to snuggle with.
Street parking and some municipal parking lots are available, and people can walk to get a good viewing spot. Drivers should expect road closures and traffic detours.
“We have such great community spirit,” said Regan Roberts-Deck, a parade director. “So, for me, it’s really fun to see how each small town does their parade and tree-lighting. There’s such unique differences between the towns. … I think it’s a great way to reconnect with our roots and the great feeling of community we have around here, and it’s a great way to get in to the holiday spirit.”
Selbyville on Friday
The 59th annual Selbyville Christmas Parade will be Friday, Dec. 6. Although the parade starts at 7 p.m., children’s activities begin at 5:30 p.m.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with children before the parade at the Church Street park, across from Dollar General and the new Town Hall.
Delaware Read Aloud will give each child a free book to take home. Santa’s Letters will also be there. Kids can write letters to Santa (and parents can also request some help in fulfilling Christmas wishes).
There will be a collection bin for Code Purple Sussex County, the cold-weather housing shelter. Attendees can donate warm items (hats, scarves, socks and heavy-duty gloves), although four local Rotary Clubs have also been providing cots and mattresses this autumn.
This is Southern Sussex Rotary’s third year hosting the parade.
The parade route stretches along Church Street, from the former town hall and railroad crossing to the Main Street intersection. Food vendors will be based at the new Selbyville Town Hall parking lot, near the traffic light intersection.
“It’s going to be a real jam-packed hour of a parade … nonstop action of music and festivities and holiday cheer,” said Selbyville parade director Roberts-Deck. “If people want to spread out along Church Street, they should get a great show, no matter where they are.”
This year, parade marshals will help to better space and time the 60 marching units.
Local marching bands include Indian River High School and Stephen Decatur High School. There will also be performances by the jazz band of Southern Delaware School of the Arts.
The grand marshal is once again Jimmy Hoppa, the longtime local radio and TV personality, firefighter and fire chaplain. News anchor Ryan Eldredge will be a presenter and one of the special guest judges. Selbyville Town Council members won’t be judging this year because they were invited to ride in the parade itself.
Afterward, the parade winners will be announced at the bandstand.
Road closures and detours will begin around 5 p.m.
Millsboro on Saturday
The Millsboro Christmas Celebration is set for Saturday, Dec. 7.
The parade will start at 5 p.m. and feature marching bands from Sussex Central High School and Sussex Technical High School. There are at least 50 marching units, which is more than last year.
After the parade, everyone can migrate toward the annual tree-lighting ceremony at Millsboro Town Center, 322 Wilson Highway. There will be free indoor and outdoor activities: caroling, live musical performances, bonfires, hot chocolate, cookies, coffee, crafts and visits with Santa Claus in the Santa House.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to come out and celebrate Christmas,” said Jamie Burk, organizer and assistant town manager. “We’ve got bonfires to help with the cold … and it’s some good fellowship back at the town hall.”
Local restaurants will be open, and food vendors will park at Town Hall. The Millsboro Art League will be open, with free refreshments.
The parade begins at M&T Bank on Mitchell Street, turns right on Wilson Highway, turns left on Railroad Avenue, turns right onto Main Street and goes through downtown, turns right onto State Street and disperses around Millsboro Middle School.
Detours will be in effect from approximately 4 to 7 p.m.
“It’s an exciting time for the town. It’s one of our premiere events,” Burk said. “We’re excited to see everybody.”
Dagsboro on Tuesday
The sixth annual Dagsboro Christmas Parade will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.
Lineup occurs on Main Street Extended, near (not inside) the athletic entrance of Indian River High School. The parade marches north along Main Street into town, turns left onto Clayton Street and ends at the new Dagsboro fire hall.
Traffic detours will begin around 6 p.m.
Marching bands will bring live music and street performances from Indian River High School and Sussex Central High School.
Afterward, the Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department and its Auxiliary will host a holiday gathering with hot chocolate, cookies, other refreshments and visits with Santa Claus.
“It pulls the community together,” said Stacy West, town clerk. “It’s just a fun time for everybody to get together. Everyone enjoys a parade. It supports our local businesses.”
Local restaurants will also be open for parade-goers with an appetite.
All month, children can also visit Santa Claus at Katie Helm Park on Main Street. The Town will host Santa in the Park from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 5, 11, 12, 17 and 19.
By Laura Walter