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Towns cancel parade, Christmas festival

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Two staples of Christmastime in southern Nash County were called off over the weekend due to rain and the big game.

Christmas in Spring Hope and the Middlesex Christmas Parade were canceled with the Spring Hope event not receiving a rain date. The Middlesex parade is being moved to the spring.

The annual Spring Hope event set for Friday was called off around noon that day. The event wasn’t rescheduled, said Allen Barbee, president of the Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce.

“We tried that a few years ago and it was a disaster,” Barbee said.

The book sale planned by the Spring Hope Library as part of the event has been extended through the holidays. The sale offers books at a reduced price and a choice of select books for $5 a bag.

The event this year was to include an inaugural children’s Christmas parade. Organizers said they will try again next Christmas.

The Middlesex Christmas parade set for Saturday afternoon fell victim to forecasted rain and greater interest in the state 3-A championship football game in Raleigh.

The game marked the Southern Nash High School Firebirds’ first-ever appearance. Charlotte Catholic pulled away to claim a 23-7 victory.

While the likelihood of rain played a small part in the decision, support for the Firebirds was the main reason the parade was called off, said Middlesex Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis.

Anyone who’s spent time in southern Nash County since 1969 has a family member who attended the high school, so giving residents a chance to go to the game was the right thing to do for the community, Lewis said.

A Firebird graduate, Lewis said he recognized that a lot of folks wanted to be at the game but had committed to the parade, and the town wanted to let them go.

Rather than trying to reschedule the parade during the busy holiday season, the town announced it will hold an event and parade in the spring.

“We will have the football team here, and they can be in the parade,” Lewis said.

The parade was canceled two years ago due to rain. That decision was made at 9 a.m. the morning of the event.

During a Dec. 9 meeting, the board expressed determination to move forward with the parade. However, after consulting with Police Chief Mike Collins and others, the board decided Dec. 12 not to hold the parade.

Collins said the parade needed to be canceled at the earliest possible moment due to the logistics involved. Vendors, food trucks, emergency responders and deputies all had to be notified.

Lewis said entry fees can be refunded or held for the spring parade.

Of the three parades scheduled for southern Nash County this holiday season, the Bailey Christmas Parade held Dec. 7 ended up being the only event to go off without a hitch.

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