On Thursday, November 30 and Saturday, December 2, the Town of Fort Mill hosted its annual Lighting of the Tree, Santa's Arrival and Christmas Parade in Historic Downtown Fort Mill.
On Thursday, Main Street in Fort Mill became the place where children gathered to catch the first glimpse of Santa before Christmas, enjoyed cocoa and holiday music.
Beginning at 7pm, Mayor Savage and Council welcomed residents and visitors with the sounds of the holidays from Walnut Grove Christian School, Fort Mill, Riverview and Sugar Creek Elementary schools. With over 150 children singing, the sounds were perfect to bring Santa to town. Upon Santa's arrival, driven by the Fort Mill Police Department, Santa joined everyone in lighting the Town Tree, that was placed in 1983 in memory of Mr. Bill Close. Before Santa moved to the Band Stand to listen to the Christmas wishes of the children, Santa twinkled his nose and brought a flurry of snow for all to enjoy. Fort Mill had an estimated 1500 in attendance for this special event.
On Saturday morning, thousands gathered along the downtown route for the 70th Annual Fort Mill Christmas Parade with Grand Marshals; Ms. Mary Sue Wolfe, Mr. Charles Boyette, Ms. Kay Dabney and Ms. Hazel Epps. With 104 entries, residents and visitors brought family and friends to enjoy an impressive car show, grand floats, beauty queens, dance and walking groups and great bands. Before the parade, folks were invited to compete in the inaugural Ugly Sweater Contest at the Fort Mill Fire Department hosted by AccessOne. This year's parade winners, "Best Car" South State Bank, "Best Christmas Theme" Evans Tire and Wrecker, "Best Walking Group" Tiger Kim's Taekwando, "Most Spirit" Fort Mill Dirty Riders, "Most Creative" Carolina Ski Team, will be recognized at the December 11 Town Council meeting.
Due to the invaluable contributions from dedicated individuals, the Fort Mill Lighting of the Tree and Christmas Parade was sure to have lifted the spirits of many in preparing for the holidays. On behalf of the Town of Fort Mill, we would like to thank community hearts; The Fort Mill Elks Lodge, Fort Mill Allen Tate Office, Elementary Schools; Fort Mill, Sugar Creek, Walnut Grove Christian, and Riverview, and the Rock Hill Dixieland Car Club's Wayne Felder.
Because of our dedicated and generous Fort Mill Town Council and Town Manager, Dennis Pieper, we were able to make this a true town organized event through the team work of the Fort Mill Police, Fire, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation Departments. We were blessed to also work with individual town employees that took it upon themselves to join in creating a day of great fun. It is because of these generous volunteers we were able to provide our community an event to remember. We welcome businesses to take part in the Christmas festivities next year. It is a grand time to enjoy and celebrate our beautiful community!
Caroline B. Hasty
Events and Media Coordinator, PIO
Town of Fort Mill