After not having a Christmas parade in Amherst last December due to weather, the popular event is slated to return to the town’s streets on Friday, Dec. 6.
A major change this year is the Town of Amherst is more involved in organizing the event after the Amherst Lions Club decided last year to no longer hold that role.
Another big difference is the parade route will begin at the Amherst Public Library on South Main Street and proceed north and take a right onto 2nd Street, ending at Second Stage Amherst. In past years, the parade staged on North Main Street before proceeding down South Main Street through the stoplight. Under the new route, the staging area prior to the 6:30 p.m. parade is at Amherst County High School.
Town Manager Sara Carter said a platform is planned to be set up at the stoplight at Second Street with Mayor Dwayne Tuggle and Amherst County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Arnold emceeing the event and announcing participants. Participants will be able to stop there for a short time to perform, making the intersection a prime spot for gatherers, according to Carter.
The same route was used during the town’s inaugural First Responders Parade in late June.
“The new route is beneficial from a traffic flow point of view,” Carter said in an email. “Stopping traffic on Route 60, which is a primary high way with no easy detour, has always taken up a large amount of public safety personnel to achieve and creates concern for those who have a need to travel east/west.”
Security personnel needs are lower with the new route, Carter said.
A team working to organize the event and many hands on deck have made “light work” and the town is looking forward to a smooth event, she said. There is no rain date.
“It is rain, shine, snow or sleet,” Carter said. “Let’s hope for the best.”
Sweet Briar College also is holding a holiday tree lighting event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the Quad area of campus. Students, faculty and staff celebrate by lighting the tree, singing carols and enjoying cocoa. The event is free and open to the public.
Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.