This Saturday big day for Holiday Events

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This Saturday, Dec. 14 is a big day for local holiday events, with two area parades and the “Santa Express” coming to town by rail. The Piedmont Christmas Parade will be held at 11 a.m and the Williamston Christmas Parade will be held Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
The Piedmont Christmas Parade is organized by The Bonnes Amies Club of Piedmont. The parade begins at Rite Aid on Hwy. 86 and will go to the First Baptist Church. The club has also decorated the bridge over the Saluda River with garland and bows.
Parade entries are still being accepted.  Deadline for early entries was Dec. 7, however late entries are welcome. Entry fee is $20 for individuals and $40 for clubs. Contacts are: Kathy Hand, Chairman (864-607-2702), Paige Crawford (864-569-4364), or Maxie Freeman (864-845-6372) or Carol Havird (864-844-3816).  Forms are also available at the Piedmont Fire Department.
The theme for the Williamston parade is “Keep Christ in Christmas”.
The parade will begin at the traffic light at Hamilton St. and Greenville Dr. and will end at Calvary Baptist Church. There is no fee to enter the annual parade, but all entrants are encouraged to bring plenty of candy. Candy should be handed out by a walking crew, not thrown, organizers said.
No one will be allowed to dress as “Santa” and performances should be limited to one minute.
Sherrie Cole is the parade organizer. Registration will be held in advance by submitting an entry form to the Town of Williamston at PO Box 70, by FAX to 864-847-5910 or email to sherricole@charter.net.
Registration will also be held day of parade at the line up which will be held at Fort Hill Gas offices at 701 N. Hamilton St. between 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Registration forms are available at the Williamston Municipal Center or participants can call Town Hall at 847-7473 or Cole at 864-847-5501 or 864-353-2893 for information or registration. Registration forms are also available on the town website and facebook page.
Williamston’s Christmas Park has been a holiday attraction in the upstate since 1958. It is a joint effort by local citizens and the town to convey the Christmas spirit through a unique collection of holiday lights and displays.
Deck the Halls is also open in the Williamston’s Municipal Center. The annual event has become a holiday tradition for the town and features beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the main hallways of the Municipal Center.
It will be open to the public for viewing following the lighting of the park and during regular business hours through the holidays.  Hours for viewing trees will be 9 a.m. to 9  p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through the holiday season.
Greenville & Western Railway Company, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Carolina Railway Service Corporation, will also hold the 13th Annual “Santa Express” this Saturday.
At each stop, boys and girls will have an opportunity to step on board Santa’s caboose and tell Old Saint Nick what they want for Christmas. Each child will receive a sweet treat and Santa will draw tickets at every stop for special gifts from his magic gift bag.
Santa’s 2019 schedule will be (Arrival – Departure):
Honea Path – Hamby Road 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Belton – O’Neal Street 10:45 AM –  12:15 PM
Cheddar – Cheddar Road 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Williamston – Williams Street 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Pelzer – Lyman Street (old depot site) 4:45 PM – 7:15 PM
Santa plans to stay until the last person comes through the caboose to see him in Pelzer.
The Greenville & Western Railway is again partnering with the Presbyterian Food Bank of Pelzer and Williamston (“PFB”) and the Belton Interfaith Ministerial Association (“BIMA”)  to collect food items.
Greenville & Western encourages those who attend this year’s Santa Express event to bring a donation of one or more non-perishable food items to the train.
Greenville & Western, BIMA and PFB volunteers will be staffing the Aiken Railway caboose (the caboose directly behind the locomotives) to accept donations and thank you for your generous support of both organizations’ food ministry. Donations are not mandatory for participation in the event.
(Pictured Journal file photo)