Christmas parade features two-in-one
by Staff Writer
MOORESVILLE – The Mooresville Christmas Parade will be preceded this year by a smaller parade featuring high school football players from the upcoming Oasis All-Star Classic.
The two-in-one parade is a new concept for the annual event, a downtown tradition spanning 68 years.
“It has served as the kickoff to the Christmas season,” said organizer Ron Johnson, noting that it’s always been held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
The Oasis Shriners Parade begins at 3 p.m., followed by the Christmas parade at 3:30 p.m. There may be a small delay between parades, Johnson said. Both parades will last a little more than two hours.
Mike Cooke, the Oasis Shriners’ potentate, said pairing the parades helps promote The Oasis All-Star Classic, which will be played Nov. 24 at Coach Joe Popp Stadium. This is Mooresville’s first time hosting the eighth annual game.
“Charlotte is such a big community, we thought that moving the venue to a smaller town might spark more interest,” Cooke said. “I knew we had a beautiful facility and felt like Mooresville is a football town.”
Mark Edwards, superintendent for the Mooresville Graded School District, will serve as grand marshal of this year’s Christmas parade. Edwards was named the 2013 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year on Nov. 13 at the N.C. Schools Boards Association Conference in Greensboro.
“We selected him as the grand marshal because of his outstanding work with the Mooresville Graded School District,” Johnson said. “He deserves it.”
The Christmas parade will feature 3,500 participants among its 139 units.
Marching bands from Bandys, Lake Norman, Mooresville, Pine Lake Preparatory and South Iredell high schools will perform, as well as dance studios like Acrofitness.
Want to go?
The 68th Annual Mooresville Christmas Parade starts at 3 p.m. Nov. 20. The parade starts at Main Street and Statesville Avenue, travels down Main Street and ends just past Wilson Avenue at Merino’s Home Furnishings. The parade will be held rain or shine.