Posted on: December 2, 2016
[ARCHIVED] Helpful Tips, Info for 21st Annual Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade
Hometown Heroes Serve as Grand Marshals
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (December 2, 2016) - Thousands of residents and visitors will gather along Coleman Blvd. on Sunday, Dec. 11 to enjoy more than 100 floats and several marching bands in the 21st Annual Town of Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade.
The fun begins with a spectacular Tree Lighting and fireworks display at Moultrie Middle School at dark, approximately 5:30 p.m., immediately followed by the parade that starts at Pelzer Drive and ends at Camellia Drive just before Chuck Dawley Blvd.
“Our community does an amazing job of getting everyone in the spirit with incredibly designed and beautifully lit floats,” said Special Events Manager Nicole Harvey.
This year’s Grand Marshals are hometown heroes Taylor Higgins, Kameron Smalls, Dennis Sprout and Mount Pleasant Police Officers Matt Kinard and Bill Martin, who were nominated by Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Ritchie.
At four years old, Taylor Higgins called 911 for a medical emergency when his mother fell and hit her head on a kitchen cabinet. Her head was bleeding and she was in need of help, and young Higgins was compliant with the dispatcher, answering all questions while following instructions carefully.
“Being able to help Taylor and his mom was a memorable call and Taylor did an awesome job assisting with everything before the first responders arrived,” said Dennis Sprout, who has worked for Charleston County 911 for four years.
Kameron Smalls was so moved by a news story of a family in Louisiana who lost everything in the floods this year that at eight years old, he decided to work tirelessly to help raise money and collect donated items.
By the time all was said and done, Smalls, with the assistance of Officers Kinard and Martin, was able to drive an SUV loaded with necessities, gift cards, and $4,000 to help the family get back on their feet.
The town’s night parade is a Lowcountry favorite for people of all ages and can be best enjoyed if you follow some easy tips.
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions:
When does the parade start/end? The parade starts immediately following the tree lighting at approximately 5:35 - 5:45 p.m. The parade typically ends no later than 8:00 p.m., depending on where you sit on the route.
Will there be road closures and how do I get where I need to go? Plan to arrive early and enjoy the time with your community. Northbound lanes from Patriots Point Rd. to Pelzer Drive and southbound lanes from Pelzer Drive to Houston Northcutt close at 4:00 p.m. for the lineup. All lanes from Pelzer Drive to Rifle Range close at 5:00 p.m. The Old Village will remain accessible from McCants Drive via Rifle Range Rd. Russell Drive will be accessible from Chuck Dawley Blvd.
When will Coleman Blvd. re-open? No cars are allowed on closed roadways until all pedestrian traffic and trash is cleared. In addition to Coleman Blvd., this affects Chuck Dawley Blvd. and Ben Sawyer between Rifle Range and Sea Island Shopping Center. Police and Public Services work hard to open the road as efficiently as possible with public safety being the primary concern. All roads are typically re-opened by 8:30 p.m. Vehicles will be directed to turn south as the gradual re-opening occurs to prevent traffic backup behind the end of the parade.
How about food? Can I tailgate along the parade route? Yes. Tailgating at the Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade is a long-standing tradition! We encourage you to come early, settle in and enjoy the festivities with a cup of hot cocoa, apple cider, or other warm beverage. Keep in mind that there are many restaurants located on Coleman Blvd. Alcohol will be available for sale inside restaurants and bars, but not on the street.
Where should children go if they get separated from their group? Families and parade participants should have a safety plan in place. Instruct children to find a Town official if needed. Please go to the stage by the Farmers Market Pavilion in front of Moultrie Middle School or to the Lost Child Tent at Regions Bank on the corner of Chuck Dawley and Coleman Blvd. (Sea Island Shopping Center) for help.
Can I fly my drone at the event? In the interest of public safety, Coleman Blvd. including the entire lineup area and parade route are deemed a No Drone Zone during the event.
Is the parade rain or shine? Yes, the parade will only be cancelled in the case of extreme weather that would jeopardize safety. In case of hazardous weather on parade day, the public should visit the Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade Facebook page, the Mount Pleasant Police Twitter feed, or tune to Y102.5 FM for information. If the Parade is cancelled, it is not rescheduled. No announcement means the show will go on!
Will there be public restrooms? Lit port-o-lets will be available in the lineup area on the corner of Houston Northcutt, in the former Boulevard Diner parking lot, at the East Cooper School District Office and at Spectrum Paint. Public restrooms are available at Shem Creek Park.
Will there be handicapped parking? Yes, handicapped parking is available at Moultrie Middle School.
Extensive security planning has been done and safety measures both seen and unseen will be in place throughout the event. Mount Pleasant Police ask participants to be aware of their surroundings and report anything that seems suspicious to one of the many uniformed officers present: “If you see something, say something!”