(G)hosts Of Christmas Parades … Past & Present

Our annual Sanford Christmas Parade is less than a week away, and its a yearly holiday event the entire community looks forward to. The parade is really something we can be proud of. It’s taken place for over 6 decades, is always well-attended, often lasts for over an hour and is filled with plenty of participants … floats, bands, service organizations, youth groups, churches and the like.

For many years, the Sanford Jaycees were the organizing group for the parade. While the parade route, day and time have shifted a bit over the years, the activity has always been downtown-focused. Here’s a look at some Christmas parade activities from the early years.



Eventually, the parade moved into its present-day customary time slot, as the first Monday evening in December. When the Sanford Jaycees disbanded in 2008, the Sanford Chamber of Commerce stepped in to manage the parade for a few years, before handing over supervision to the Central Carolina Jaycees, who continue to operate this special event.

Although times, attractions, streetscapes and storefronts change over the years, there’s something comforting about the permanence of Sanford’s Christmas Parade. And the odds are pretty good, a certain bearded big man dressed in red, will make an appearance at the end of the parade … just as he always does, every year!

Editorial content, pictures and research background , compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase. All book proceeds go to Sanford’s Railroad House Historical Association, Inc.