THE TALON

22nd Annual Christmas Light Parade

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Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

For the past 22 years the people of Mount Pleasant have flocked Coleman Boulevard to celebrate the coming of the holiday season. From floats to food vendors, the parade helps to spread the holiday spirit. While the original parade in 1995 only had a few floats and drew a small crowd, the parade has grown tremendously from its original 20 floats and brings in over 15,000 people. The parade has become so popular over the years that chairs can are often already set up on Coleman Boulevard a day or two before the event.  

The Mount Pleasant parade is one of many that occur in the lowcountry area over the holiday season. Other notable parades include the Downtown Charleston, the Folly Beach, and the Summerville parades. While these events follow the same basic structure as the Mount Pleasant parade, they differ as they occur during the daylight hours. Because the Mount Pleasant parade occurs at night, it includes a huge firework display unlike any other parade in the Lowcountry. This colorful firework display helps to start off the event that begins every year around sunset.

Ever since 1995, the Mount Pleasant parade traveled along Coleman Boulevard from Houston Northcutt towards Chuck Dawley Boulevard near Moultrie Middle School. However, this past year the route switched due to construction occurring on Coleman Boulevard across from the middle school. Some people voiced concern that this switch in the parade route would affect traffic on roads near the Ravenel bridge that would normally not be affected. Their concerns of traffic were considered, but officials suggested that the construction areas along the traditional route could cause even more problems. The new route began at the Shem Creek Bridge and traveled towards Patriots Point. Despite this change, the Mount Pleasant parade was a success bringing even more spectators than previous years.  

 

This year

Floats were created by local groups and organizations like churches, scout troops, schools, and businesses. These groups typically spend one to two days creating floats that celebrate both their organization and the holidays. 

Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church decided to keep in the traditional Christmas theme by featuring shepherds, Mary, Jesus, and Joseph. Following soon after was the Star Wars float, my personal favorite, which included stormtroopers, princess Leia, Jedis, and even Chewbacca. 

Iron Man was also seen hiding behind an Audi R8 V10 plus on the back of a float for European Road and Racing. For those who enjoy music, there were two marching bands that performed for over 1.2 mile course. Students from Burke High School showed off their musical talent followed by Irishmen and young girls from the Legacy Irish Dance Academy.  The final, most-loved float was Santa Claus who arrived on a firetruck that brightened the faces of all children. Everyone went home at the end of the night with lots of candy canes, chocolate bars, and coupons to neighboring restaurants.

Onlookers were able to vote for their favorite floats during and after the parade by posting hashtag #VoteTheFloatMP on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. If you didn’t attend this weekend, be sure to catch the parade next year as it was truly a spectacular evening filled with holiday cheer.

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