LAURINBURG — Folks who want to put their holiday spirit on display have less than a week to sign up for the annual Christmas Parade, set to roll down Main Street on Dec. 7.
Though registrations will be accepted until Nov. 22, those who sign up after Nov. 15 will be charged double the going rate for their float, car or horse.
According to Tonia Stephenson, president of the Laurinburg/Scotland County Chamber of Commerce, 30 have promised to be a part of this year’s annual holiday display so far. About 100 usually participate, she said.
The fee for non-commercial entries such as civic groups, churches and nonprofits is $35. Businesses or other commercial entities who want to enter a float or vehicle must pay $55.
Each entry fee covers three vehicles. The cost to enter a horse is $25 whether ridden alone or part of a group. The cost helps to cover the cost of staff who will be tasked with cleaning up behind them.
There are no restrictions on height or weight, and none on clothing or design except they must be “appropriate” for the “family-friendly” event, said Kay Buie, also of the chamber.
New this year is a $100 fine for people who toss candy or any other object off the sides of a car or float.
“It’s always been written on the rule sheet, but this is the first year we’ve had the fine,” Buie said. “We’ve had problems with it in the past and it’s just too easy for someone to get hurt.”
Instead, participants are advised in the rules to have someone walk alongside a float and pass out candy to onlookers.
Other rules specify that each entry, as well as all music played, must be Christmas-themed and attire, costumes or behavior deemed “inappropriate” will result in dismissal from the parade. Also, no imitation Santas will be allowed to participate, as the jolly old elf himself will be the last to grace Main Street with his presence.
Railroad Street will be converted into a one-way street at noon, and the parade lineup will begin at 12:30 p.m. At 1:30 p.m., when all entries should be in place, there will be a contest for best decorated homemade float. The winner will receive a ribbon.
The parade will begin at the corner of Railroad and Main streets and will end on South Main Street at Plaza Road. Bands will break up at the National Guard Armory parking lot or College Plaza.