The Stokesdale Christmas Parade is always just a blast! We enjoy giving to our community and serving them in the name of Jesus. We have had entries in the parade since 1999, but last year we decided to do something different. Every year we had spent hours in the parade lineup, waiting for parade time. We were cold, hungry, and looking for something to do. So last year we gave out food and hot drinks, and we gave a free concert for anyone who wanted to listen. It was our way of sharing kindness with Stokesdale.
As the floats went by our sound stage last year, we realized that we could announce the floats as they came past. We just didn’t know what to say. We also realized that nobody really knew anything about the floats or their organizations.
This year we worked with the Stokesdale parade committee to get the info. Beginning last week organizations have been calling and emailing us with all the information they want announced at the parade.
This week we have dozens of people working to get ready for the parade on Saturday, Dec. 8. Yesterday we picked up the massive sound system, and tonight we will figure out how it works. Others are working with our food give-away, where we will hand out hot dogs, coffee, hot chocolate and desserts. Our band has been eagerly anticipating our concert at noon, playing until the parade steps off at 2 p.m.
This year we have some exciting new elements at the parade. Our stage will be set up at the Stokesdale Fire Station, just across from the main downtown storefronts. For the first time, the parade will have each entry announced as it passes by. A couple of Crossroads folks are gathering info on all the parade entries and, with appropriate humor and banter, will describe the entries as they pass the stage.
We are also giving out coffee with a purpose. The Land of a Thousand Hills coffee company sells coffee grown in Rwanda. By using this coffee, we are supporting business in this developing nation, blessing the coffee workers and helping build their local economy.
This has already been fun. See you Saturday!