Wet weather may af­fect Beau­fort’s Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties

The Island Packet - - Front Page - BY STEPHEN FASTENAU sfas­te­[email protected]­land­packet.com

Dur­ing the decades of Marines tot­ing in­stru­ments along down­town streets, cheer­lead­ers per­form­ing and dancers spin­ning dur­ing the an­nual Christ­mas pa­rade in Beau­fort, no one re­calls weather ever chang­ing plans.

Though the fore­cast of cer­tain rain for the next ren­di­tion Sun­day af­ter­noon isn’t hope­ful, or­ga­niz­ers ex­pect to press on. But Santa bet­ter bring in um­brella.

The pa­rade is sched­uled for 3 p.m.

I’ve told ev­ery­body just pray,” said Pat Har­veyPalmer, who has been in­volved in the pa­rade 25 years, the past 12 as an or­ga­nizer. “Hope­fully we’ll have some sun­shine and have a pa­rade. All we need is about three to four hours and we’re good to go.”

This year’s pa­rade in­cludes more than 100 en­tries, with more than 1,000 peo­ple ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate. The tra­di­tional pa­rade route car­ries the group of bands, lo­cal non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, busi­nesses and pub­lic of­fi­cials down Bound­ary Street from Ad­ven­ture Street, heads down Carteret Street and then past all the shopfronts on Bay Street.

A fire truck car­ries Santa as a grand fi­nale.

“This pa­rade is re­ally a pa­rade — ev­ery­body is in a good mood; they’re in a fes­tive mood,” Har­veyPalmer said. “They dec­o­rate; they’re ex­cited.”

Rain could af­fect plans for the Par­ris Is­land Ma­rine Band, which must pro­tect its in­stru­ments, Har­vey-Palmer said.

If weather does force the pa­rade from its slot, Dec. 16 is the only time

avail­able to resched­ule, said Linda Roper, the city’s di­rec­tor of down­town op­er­a­tions and com­mu­nity ser­vices. City of­fi­cials were also con­sid­er­ing the sta­tus of the an­nual boat pa­rade in the Beau­fort River on Satur­day night, when rain was also fore­cast.

Port Royal moved its an­nual golf cart pa­rade on Paris Av­enue to Fri­day night be­cause of the Satur­day fore­cast af­ter hold­ing its tree-light­ing Wed­nes­day.

Beau­fort’s tree-light­ing and other down­town ac­tiv­i­ties were ex­pected to go on as sched­uled Fri­day night.

This is the first year the city has or­ga­nized the hol­i­day week­end, which in the past was run by Main Street Beau­fort.

“We’ve kept it tra­di­tional,” Roper said. “It’s tra­di­tional hol­i­day week­end, and ev­ery­thing’s come to­gether re­ally nicely.”

JAY KARR [email protected]­land­packet.com

Beau­fort’s an­nual Christ­mas pa­rade is sched­uled for 3 p.m. Sun­day.

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