Bladen County kicks off holiday season with Christmas parade and tree lighting

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) – A Christmas parade followed by an annual Christmas tree lighting kicked off the holiday season in Elizabethtown over the weekend.
Bladen County kicking off its 30 days of celebration to Christmas – Saturday morning started with breakfast with Santa – an elf scavenger hunt – then the much-anticipated Christmas parade.
There were dancers, trucks, first responders, princesses, and lots of candy – the parade ended with the man himself – Santa Claus – a favorite among those who attended
Jennifer Monroe and Willie Moore were visiting from Sampson County.
“It’s exciting, it’s that time of year that you get excited about all of it, they put the time in to come out, practicing, it’s just remarkable,” said Moore. 
After the parade – the crowd gathered around the Christmas tree while Reverend Jonathan Hayes led with a prayer, which was followed by holiday hymns right before the Elizabethtown Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.
Quadija Montgomery was with family, she wanted to enjoy time together out and about in the community.
“It’s just a great opportunity, you know we get a chance to have these for our kids and the holidays,” she said.  “I’m a big fan of holidays, and I think it was really nice.”
According to Director of Marketing and Communication Terri Dennison, Covid resulted in the town’s previous holiday celebrations having a lower turnout than previous years,  the town started the annual tree lighting to promote “hope” and a better future for the town. 
“This year we saw so many more floats, so many more things, so many more people at the tree lighting,” she said.
According to Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell, events like these help the local community.
“It’s a great economic impact on us, White Lake is seven miles from here, of course, we get them in the summertime but right now with everybody coming to shop, it’s wonderful for the town of Elizabethtown,” she said. 
The Lighting of the Lake is planned for Saturday, December 3rd, and starts at 6:00 p.m.
After the lighting of the lake — pictures of different light displays will be posted on December 5, on the Elizabethtown – White Lake Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook Page, so people can vote for their favorites.
More information can be found here.
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