Ushering in the holiday season


Parade, tree lighting mark evening of Christmas celebration

By Dean Palmer - Special to the News



Always a favorite, this entry featuring Santa Claus brought up the rear of the Pilot Mountain Christmas parade. The float and the parade was sponsored by the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad.


Dean Palmer | Special to the News

The North Carolina Western Regional Champion East Surry Women’s Tennis team were honored as grand marshals for the parade Saturday.


Dean Palmer | Special to the News

From left are Sara Terwilliger and Daphne Dotson, joining voices to perform a duet at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Town Hall.


Dean Palmer | Special to the News

Andrew Millsaps shares an original Christmas composition, “Newborn King,” to close the tree-lighting ceremony.


Dean Palmer | Special to the News

This float, filled with holiday cheer, was sponsored by the Mount Pilot Child Enrichment Center.


Dean Palmer | Special to the News

The East Surry JROTC program and the East Surry Marching Band lead the long procession of entries through downtown Pilot Mountain.


Dean Palmer | Special to the News

Pilot Mountain celebrated the holiday season Saturday evening with its 47th annual Christmas parade, preceded by the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree with a ceremony in front of Town Hall.

Spectators were welcomed to the tree lighting by Mayor Dwight Atkins, who then oversaw the lighting of the tree. A group of local residents and students who are North Carolina Honors Chorus alumni then performed several Christmas carols and classics.

They were followed by Diane Blakemore of the Pilot Mountain Tourism Development Authority, who announced the winning businesses from the town’s window decorating contest.

Eleven entrants took part in the contest with Miriam Haircolorist Salon claiming first place. Second place went to Access Books and More while Mount Pilot Country Store claimed third place.

The People’s Choice award, voted on by Facebook likes, went to Kritter Kutts Pet Grooming.

East Surry students Sara Terwilliger and Daphne Dotson then performed an unusual rendition of a pair of traditional Christmas favorites. Former East Surry student Andrew Millsaps concluded the ceremony with a performance of his own Christmas composition, “Newborn King.”

The annual parade then made its way from the East Surry parking lot along the length of Main Street. While this year’s parade was the first in the event’s history to charge a registration fee, participation did not appear to be affected.

“It was one of the biggest parades we’ve had in recent years,” noted Chris Wall, a member of the sponsoring Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad’s Parade Committee. “It went great and everybody had a great attitude toward the registration fee.”

A $10 fee was assessed for all business, commercial and individual entries, with all proceeds going toward the Give a Kid a Christmas charitable campaign. No fee was charged for charities, schools and churches.

“We had some ask us if $10 was all we wanted,” Wall said, “and there were others who qualified for no fee but the person signing up gave us a donation anyway. There was a lot of Christmas spirit on display and people were eager to work with us.”

An assortment of entries from local churches, businesses and individuals showed off the creative use of lights and floats. Local schools and public safety agencies were also well represented as were area troops and packs from both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

A large turnout of spectators lined the street, Wall noted, with the downtown area especially packed.

“We want to thank everybody who came out to participate or to watch,” Wall said. “I think everybody had a great night.”

Always a favorite, this entry featuring Santa Claus brought up the rear of the Pilot Mountain Christmas parade. The float and the parade was sponsored by the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad.
http://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC07262-1.jpgAlways a favorite, this entry featuring Santa Claus brought up the rear of the Pilot Mountain Christmas parade. The float and the parade was sponsored by the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad. Dean Palmer | Special to the News

The North Carolina Western Regional Champion East Surry Women’s Tennis team were honored as grand marshals for the parade Saturday.
http://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC07221-1.jpgThe North Carolina Western Regional Champion East Surry Women’s Tennis team were honored as grand marshals for the parade Saturday. Dean Palmer | Special to the News

From left are Sara Terwilliger and Daphne Dotson, joining voices to perform a duet at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Town Hall.
http://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC07205-1.jpgFrom left are Sara Terwilliger and Daphne Dotson, joining voices to perform a duet at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Town Hall. Dean Palmer | Special to the News

Andrew Millsaps shares an original Christmas composition, “Newborn King,” to close the tree-lighting ceremony.
http://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC07212-1.jpgAndrew Millsaps shares an original Christmas composition, “Newborn King,” to close the tree-lighting ceremony. Dean Palmer | Special to the News

This float, filled with holiday cheer, was sponsored by the Mount Pilot Child Enrichment Center.
http://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC07241-1.jpgThis float, filled with holiday cheer, was sponsored by the Mount Pilot Child Enrichment Center. Dean Palmer | Special to the News

The East Surry JROTC program and the East Surry Marching Band lead the long procession of entries through downtown Pilot Mountain.
http://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC07216-1.jpgThe East Surry JROTC program and the East Surry Marching Band lead the long procession of entries through downtown Pilot Mountain. Dean Palmer | Special to the News
Parade, tree lighting mark evening of Christmas celebration

By Dean Palmer

Special to the News

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