The holidays will jingle into town at the 58th Annual Selbyville Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.
More than 100 marching units have signed up, so “It should be a really great parade for spectators this year,” said parade director Regan Roberts-Deck.
Floats will march along Church Street, from town hall to the Main Street intersection.
For 2018, the Southern Sussex Rotary has a lineup of antique and custom cars, fire companies, floats, local businesses, scout troops, youth sports teams, civic groups, color guard and emcee Jimmy Hoppa. As always, Santa Claus comes to town on the final firetruck from the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company. Live bands will include the Indian River High School, Stephen Decatur High School from Berlin, Md., and Selbyville’s own Southern Delaware School of the Arts.
“It’s so festive and fun. Who doesn’t love a great parade — especially in the holiday season when things can be stressful?” said Roberts-Deck. “We try to bring a little bit of lightness and joy in this time of year.”
Food will be sold in the former PNC Bank parking lot. Options have expanded to include hot apple cider from the Indian River High School swim team; sandwiches and comfort food from Sessa’s Vending & Catering; barbecue and baked goods by Top Five; ice cream by the Frozen Farmer; and drinks from Rita’s Italian Ice.
Starting at 4 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet children at the Selbyville Park, located on West Church Street, across the road from Dollar General.
“The Indian River shop class has built us a Santa House this year, so we will have Santa and Mrs. Claus there before the parade … seeing kids,” said Roberts-Deck. “We also have partnered with Read Aloud Delaware, giving out books to the kids who see Santa.”
Kids can also write letters to Santa, which the Santa’s Letters Project of Dagsboro will help deliver — and maybe even bring a response.
Parents can snap photos with Old St. Nick, or outside with the large wooden sleigh from Lord’s Landscaping.
There are several contests that night. First, the Rotary will have a 50/50 cash drawing.
Also, anyone who donates items to Coastal Cats will be entered in drawing to win a Rotary “Summer Fun” prize pack. The group’s wish list includes dry food (preferably Purina Cat Chow and Purina Kitten Chow), canned food, litter, toys, towels and pee pads, or monetary donations for vet bills. Coastal Cats provides trap-neuter-release services for feral cats in southeast Sussex County.
Guests need not be present to win either of the Rotary prizes, so long as their contact information is on the tickets. All winners will be announced immediately after the parade, at the grandstand.
Parade prizes will also be awarded to the top parade performers in each category, plus the “Overall Dazzler.”
Many sponsors help to make local parades possible. The Southern Sussex Rotary took over organizing the parade in 2017, after the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce opted to focus on other projects. This year, organizers will add more lighting, restrooms and music throughout the parade route, so people will have action farther away from the grandstand.
“They can and will see a great parade if they venture down the street a little more,” said Roberts-Deck.
“For us, our mission is to serve the needs of our community for the enrichment of all, so we try to do that in a variety of ways, but for the most part, everyone in our club tries to focus in the youth in our community,” said Roberts-Deck. “The parade is a great way to reach children and their families … and tell them about Rotary and the resources that are available to them in the community.”
Parade-route roads will close at 5 p.m. on Friday. Parking is available throughout town.
By Laura Walter