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Photos by Kenneth Armstrong.

By Charlotte Smith

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC — The 2023 Annual Elizabethtown Christmas Parade, proudly sponsored by Star Communications, emerged as a resounding success, undeterred by the rain that later halted the tree-lighting event on the courthouse lawn. The vibrant Christmas Parade filled the streets with festive cheer and community spirit.

Emcee Wayne Schaeffer from the Elizabethtown Rotary Club, kept the crowd up-to-date with the historical facts and the names of each parade entry. The Annual Christmas Parade Float Contest was a tight competition. Terri Dennison, Director of Communication and Marketing for the Town of Elizabethtown, NC, and the Executive Director of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, clarified that the judging was focused solely on the floats. Each entry was evaluated based on creativity and relevance to the theme, “Mother Nature’s Playground.”

The judging panel comprised Catina Dixon from Star Communications, Connie Holland representing both the Town of Elizabethtown and Second Chance Community Church, Daine Smith of Smith & Sons Heating & Cooling, and Wayne Schaeffer himself. After much anticipation, Donna Rountree Melvin, the retired art teacher and owner of Art Works, was declared the “Best of Show” winner of the 2023 parade. Art Works, located at 207 E Broad Street, Suite F, is known for offering diverse private art lessons for all ages.

In the photo above, Wayne Schaeffer holds the “Best of Show” trophy.

This year, The Grand Marshalls were the Downtown Businesses of Elizabethtown that have served the area for over 25 years. Before the parade’s ending, Star Communications also announced that the parade will be broadcast on their television channels 16 and 316, with the first airing scheduled for Friday, December 1, 2023.

The parade marked the beginning of a series of festive celebrations planned by the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Upcoming events include “Santa Paws & Claws” on December 2, featuring Santa Claus, pet adoptions, and an Ugly Sweater Pet Costume Contest. December 9 is dedicated to children with activities like Elf Story Hour and a Magic Show, while December 16 will see the Bladen Christmas Marketplace offering local gift ideas and holiday drinks.

For further details on these events or any queries, the Chamber can be reached at 910-862-4368. The Bladen County community is invited to partake in these joyous festivities, celebrating a season of unity, fun, and local spirit.

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