Oak Island’s annual Christmas parade still on but with a twist

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Oak Island's Town Seal

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The 2020 Christmas by the Sea Parade in Oak Island will be held in early December but organizers have had to get creative to meet the challenges of COVID-19 safety.

This year, the parade will be presented in a “flip flopped” format with parade floats being stationary and spectators driving past them. Organizers have included some fun new elements to make this year’s parade very special for all that participate.

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The Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Town of Oak Island have organized the Christmas By the Sea parade for over 35 years.

“The parade is a cherished holiday tradition; we just couldn’t let 2020 end without having it. With support from the Town of Oak Island we have created a safe and fun way to hold the parade,” Jackie Pappas, Parade co-chair for the Chamber, said. “Although this is something new – we hope that it brings the same excitement and fun for everyone. We want everyone to feel they are part of the parade by either decorating a float and entering the parade here or gathering your family in your car or golf cart and driving through the parade. It would even be great to see residents along the parade route decorate their houses. The more holiday spirit flowing that day, the better!”

The Flip Flop Drive-Thru’ Christmas by the Sea Parade will be staged along E. Dolphin Drive beginning at Middleton Avenue on Oak Island. The event kicks off at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, with a ribbon-cutting hosted by none other than Santa himself. Santa and the Mrs. will lead traffic down E. Dolphin past over 75 parade units and the Drive-Thru route will be open to spectators until 4 p.m. The parade route will be one-way on E. Dolphin Drive.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to add to the festivities by decorating their vehicles too.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be the final float at the end of the parade route waving to children and the young at heart as they drive by.

Normal traffic safety rules apply. Spectators (riding only) in cars, trucks or golf carts will be permitted along the parade route.