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By Cara Beth Lewis

With Christmas carols, complimentary cookies and hot chocolate, Santa Claus (of course), and a Farmers Market adorned with wreaths, bows, and strands of Christmas lights, the town of Bladenboro gathered on Friday night to celebrate the annual lighting of the town Christmas tree.

Mayor Rufus Duckworth and Boost the Boro President Terry Nance gave words and thanked those for joining in the town event, hosted by Boost the Boro. Mayor Duckworth is proud of his town… in his words, “a town that still celebrates Christmas.” Sunday Allen emceed the event, giving introductions and engaging the crowd with enthusiasm and Christmas cheer.

After enjoying local talent’s performances, those in attendance made their way around the corner to the Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments and bows, and not yet lit. Mayor Duckworth chose Hollyn Hester, daughter of Cory and Leann Hester,  to help him do the honors of lighting the tree. With a countdown from ten in unison, the Bladenboro tree was lit.

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View the live video from the Christmas Tree Lighting here: https://fb.watch/9HqZnF0x3t/.

Following the lighting of the tree, many of those in attendance made their way down the sidewalk to newly-expanded Two Broke Teachers – Bladen, where there was another opportunity for photos with Santa, complimentary shrimp and grits to enjoy, and Christmas and home decor galore.

Friday night was a great event, and the Christmas cheer continued this morning, Saturday, December 4th, for the 48th annual Bladenboro Christmas parade. Organizations, public figures, politicians, businesses, pageant queens, and more were represented from all over Bladen County and the surrounding area.

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Following a lineup of EMS vehicles and fire trucks, Parade Marshall Mr. Donald Kelly led the way, followed by Grand Marshall Alayna Hester. Read more about Alayna Hester here: From Battles to Big Screens: Smalltown Star Alayna Hester.

The parade began at 10:30 am and continued for approximately one hour, while onlookers enjoyed the show.

Check out the live footage of the Bladenboro Christmas Parade on BladenOnline’s Facebook page: https://fb.watch/9Hq2UQCtTq/