The Greenville chapter of the Jaycees Civic Leadership Organization will host its annual Christmas Parade this Saturday at 5 p.m.
The parade will start at the intersection of 1st Street and Evans, it will move down Evans Street, turn left onto 5th Street, and it will come to an end at the intersection of 3rd Street and Reade Street.
This year’s chair of the Christmas Parade committee and chapter member, Jessica Jenkins, has been working on organizing this parade since around April.
She said the Jaycee group itself is an international non-profit organization that volunteers for countless causes and organizations. The Christmas Parade, which first occurred over 20 years ago, is just another way that this organization gives back to the community, according to Jenkins.
“We just saw a need in the community, and we were able to take it on from the city,” Jenkins said. “I think it’s important that the people in the community are able to get out of the house and to push aside the stresses of the holiday season and to fully enjoy the holiday season.”
The parade itself is family friendly, and it offers free experiences from hot cocoa to seeing all of the lights and seeing Santa and his elves, according to Jenkins. The parade is a good way for the family to get out and to spend some quality time together for the holidays.
Greenville Public Information Officer for the City of Greenville, Brock Letchworth, said the parade is a way for the different organizations in Greenville to spread holiday cheer while also promoting their businesses.
“The parade brings people together to celebrate the holiday season in a fun and festive environment. This contributes to the overall community goodwill,” Letchworth said. “The parade also has the potential to provide a small boost to local businesses in the Uptown District by bringing people into the area.”
Both the parade, the Greenville Cares donation and the tree lighting ceremony that will occur Friday night are great ways to kick off the holiday season, according to Letchworth. The Jaycee Christmas Parade is the community’s way of giving back while also having fun.
Musical instructor at J.H. Rose High School, Helen Park, has been working with the school’s marching band, Marching Rampants, for the past two years, and has participated with the Jaycee Christmas Parade for over six years.
This parade is a chance for the high school students of J.H. Rose to experience something outside of the after school program, and it gives them a chance to become involved in the community, according to Park.
“This is just another community event that everyone can join and it’s always entertaining to watch a parade,” Park said. “ We work really hard, and we want to do well for ourselves, the community, and the school, and represent ourselves really well.”
This parade is one of the many ways that these students are able to represent the J.H. Rose Marching Rampants to the best of their abilities, and, according to Park, they beyond excel at what they do.