The annual Christmas parade and Twilight Tour held in Brevard, North Carolina, is the official holiday launch for our city. This year’s event was on Saturday, December 1. The involvement of the entire community makes this an especially enjoyable event year after year. The 2007 version was no exception.
The day began with local schools, churches, youth sports teams, politicians, businesses and clubs preparing their floats and congregating at the local high school to get in parade order. Families and friends gathered along the streets in mid-town and waited for the parade to begin. At 3:00 the bands began to play and the locals cheered as floats covered in greenery, Christmas trees, children and manger scenes drove through town.
Candy was handed to the children, local banks gave t-shirts and hats to the adults, and the holiday cheer was spread as folks yelled, “Merry Christmas” to their friends as they waved in celebrity fashion from the floats. The local sheriff and volunteer fire departments all took part as well as elected officials and business owners. Two local radio stations placed their equipment along the streets and reported every detail. This parade is nothing like any you would witness on television but it is a loved local event each year.
The parade is followed by what is called the Twilight Tour. Main Street and the surrounding roads are blocked off as all stores, restaurants and businesses hold open house. Vendors set up shop along the streets and a stage is decorated in front of the local courthouse.
From the end of the parade until around 8:00 pm children’s choirs, special groups, soloists and bands perform from the stage as locals and visitors stroll the streets wishing one another a Merry Christmas and stopping to shop from craft vendor’s tents and the local shops. Hot chocolate and coffee are given out by area churches. Horse drawn carriages take groups for rides through the streets of town while security moves the crowd to allow them through. Temporary ice slides are set up for children to enjoy and many groups set up contests and games to raise funds for our troops.
To outsiders visiting the city of Brevard this event brings many differing expressions. Some do laugh at the quaint “smallness” and lack of extraordinary events of this celebration but most are overwhelmed with a sense of holiday spirit. The friendliness of folks greeting each other along the streets and supporting one another’s businesses is something lost across our nation in so many communities.
My family has been in this area for the past 10 years and the annual Christmas Parade and Twilight Tour is something that we have attended faithfully each year. Some years in North Carolina it is unseasonably warm in December, some years we have strolled the streets in the snow, and a couple of times we’ve even attended in the rain. This year the weather was cold enough for a coat, but not too cold to be pleasant. The crowd enjoyed a great kick off to the Christmas season once again in Brevard, North Carolina.