WWAY’s Randy Aldridge Grand Marshal at Carolina Beach Christmas Parade

Photo: WWAY

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The holiday festivities lived on Friday night in Carolina Beach as WWAY’s own Randy Aldridge led the annual Carolina Beach Christmas Parade as the Grand Marshal.

The parade was put on by the Island of Lights. The parade director says there were 117 entries this year, the second largest in decades.

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The Island Women were one of the many entries, and they truly embraced the island theme.

“The look on the children’s faces when they see us coming down and just the Christmas wishes, it’s just a wonderful experience,” said parade attendee Kelly McAndrew.

The Island Women have been in the parade for the last 10 years. They say their float fits them perfectly.

“We are decorating with grass skirts, and flamingos and hibiscus, which is one of our logos,” said McAndrw. “Our motto is invite, include, inspire. So, we’re channeling that and we’re welcoming all women of this area to join us in improving our community.”

The parade took over Lake Park Boulevard with people of all ages filling the streets.

Randy has been looking forward to this celebration for weeks now and says the title of Grand Marshal is an honor.

“I am so excited to be a part of this tradition at Carolina Beach,” he said. “We’ve been coming to it for almost 18 years and tonight, I finally get to be part of it. It’s the cherry on top of a great year at Carolina Beach.”

The director says this is one of the biggest parades in Southeastern North Carolina. Despite the few drops of rain, everyone who showed up still had a great time.