PORTSMOUTH — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Portsmouth, which means the 83rd annual Jaycees’ Christmas Parade is right around the corner.
After a year without a parade due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaycees’ 83rd annual Christmas Parade is back and hoping to bring along some Christmas spirit with it. The parade will take place Thursday, November 18, with line-up starting at 5 p.m. at the Portsmouth High School parking lot, the side street closest to Holy Redeemer, and Waller Street.
“It’s always the Thursday before Thanksgiving to kick-off the Christmas season for the Portsmouth area,” said parade organizer Leroy Hackworth. “Since we didn’t have an actual parade last year, we are hoping to provide some joy or comfort to the community.”
Hackworth said several have reached out interested in joining the parade but are unsure how many will participate.
“Registration supposedly stops next week, but we are not going to stop anybody from being in the parade. We will get them in somehow,” said Hackworth. “We really haven’t had much of a response from the band directors and we are hoping they will come in and help us and be part of it.”
Along with bands, local vendors and organizations, Santa Claus will also be in attendance at the parade, but due to COVID, Santa will not be stopping at the end for children to visit with him this year.
“This year Santa Claus will not be stopping for pictures at the end of the parade and letting people run up like usual,” said Hackworth.
The parade route will begin at Portsmouth High School and end at Valley Wholesale Foods.
Hackworth said he is just happy to be able to have the parade this year.
“We are just happy we can bring it back so people can enjoy it and have a good time,” said Hackworth. “That’s what we are trying to do, provide a good time for everybody.”
If interested in joining the parade, go to the ‘Portsmouth Jaycees’ Christmas Parade Facebook page and send a message.
Reach Darian Gillette at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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