The Cheraw Christmas Parade last Saturday featured three marching bands, lots of beauty queens, Boys Scout troops, several church, business and community sponsored floats, dance classes, The Grinch, and, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
Local high school bands from Cheraw and McBee filled the air with Christmas joy, but it was the Community Youth Organization (CYO) Band of Charlotte, N.C., that got the crowd excited this year. Their drum-line performance was both animated and indisputably energizing. Heads were bobbing all the way down Second Street as they stopped periodically to do a little side stepping.
The band was formed through the efforts of a non-profit group for Inner City Urban Renewal.
The parade was just the beginning of the activities planned for the holiday season, according to David Sides, director of tourism and leisure services for the Town of Cheraw. The first annual Cheraw Christmas Fest is planned for Saturday, Dec. 1, from noon until 5:30 p.m. at Centennial Park. The event promises an “old-fashioned Christmas package,” said Sides, complete with a Christmas Carousel, horse-drawn wagon rides, time with Santa, and Reindeer games.
At dusk, the event will be capped off with a display of “Christmas Fest fireworks,” said Sides. Other events for the Christmas Fest include:
- 11 a.m. - “Whoville Meets Cheraw-Ville,” Theatre on the Green, Admission $5.
- Noon - 5:30 p.m. - Reindeer Games, The Christmas Carousel, The Polar Express, Photos with Santa, Holiday Bake Shoppe, Village Square Entertainment, photo opportunities with Rudolph and Frosty, face painting, Village Merchants Open House, Oh! Christmas Trees decorating. All events take place in the 100 Block of Market Street or Centennial Park.
- Noon until 9 p.m. - Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Second Street, $3 before 6 p.m., $6 after 6 p.m.
- 5:15 p.m. - Christmas Fest grand finale fireworks display.
Other events during December include:
- Nov. 29 - Dec. 2 - “Sorry! Wrong Chimney,” produced by On Stage community theater group. Performances Thursday through Saturday begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday’s matinee, Dec. 2, begins at 3 p.m.
- Dec. 1 - Palmetto Poetry and Jazz, College Inn Restaurant, 7:30 p.m.
- Dec. 6 - 28 - Annual Christmas Card Exhibit, Burr Art Gallery, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Dec. 7 - Christmas Twilight Concert, Old St. David’s Church, 6:30 p.m.
- Dec. 8, 15, 22 - Wagon and Carriage Rides, Centennial Park, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
- Dec. 8 - Charles Dickens Christmas, Matheson Library, 11 a.m., free
- Dec. 8 - “A Christmas Carol” Dinner Theatre, River’s Edge, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Dec. 9 - St. David’s School Holiday Home Tour, 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
- Dec. 12 - “Holly and the Christmas Kerfuffle,” Theatre on the Green, 10:30 a.m.
- Dec. 20 - Christmas Crafts and Fun Party, Heritage Center, 11 a.m.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.