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Festive frivolity in Dobson, Pilot Mountain

If it were not already clear that the year is beginning to draw to its end with the early sunsets and the ubiquitous damp leaves stuck to everything, then announcements for holiday parades, tree lighting events, and ice skating may come as a shock.

After Thanksgiving meals and tryptophan naps as a trio of NFL games satiate the nation’s desire for pigskin on a holiday based around fowl, it will be time to welcome the Jolly One to Surry County and begin the celebrations held for Christmas.

Dobson and Pilot Mountain are both kicking off the season nice and early with events starting right after Thanksgiving.

In the county seat the holiday events will begin on Monday, Nov. 28 with a tree lighting ceremony to be held at Dobson Square Park at 110 S. Crutchfield Street.

The celebration will commence with a meet and greet with Santa Claus in the park starting at 5 p.m. and will run through 6:25 p.m. At that time Santa will make his way over to the lighting ceremony for the Dobson Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m.

After the tree ceremony Dobson will be launching what has become a unique offering for their residents with the thrd annual Dobson Community Christmas Parade. “We cannot wait to start spreading Christmas cheer through our favorite little town,” organizers said.

“This is an extra parade that we do through the neighborhoods in town so those who cannot attend the normal parade can still enjoy some Christmas cheer,” Dobson officials said.

The drive-through parade started as a response to the many events that were canceled, postponed, or modified due to COVID-19. When public health officials were encouraging folks to avoid crowds and stay inside, Dobson officials thought a remedy to the doldrums of being stuck inside would be to bring the parade to the citizens.

This will mark the third year that a contingent of police vehicles, fire trucks, floats, and Santa Claus himself snake along a predetermined route to spread holiday cheer into Dobson neighborhoods.

Later that week is the official Dobson Christmas Parade that will begin Saturday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. at Surry Community College and then will travel north on Main Street. Everyone is welcome to attend and encouraged to bring a bag to collect candy.

Any groups wishing to participate in the parade should contact 336-356-8962.

Dobson will also be opening its popular attraction Ice Skating in the Square on Nov. 28. Five dollars will secure 45 minutes of time on the rink and on-site rental of ice skates.

Organizers suggest signing up for rink time in advance on their website:

Reservation times will begin sharply at the top of the hour, so those who are skating are advised to arrive 15 minutes prior to skate time. This will allow time for those who are not ice skate aficionados to get laced up properly without feeling rushed which will yield a safer skate for all.

The rink can accommodate up to 20 skaters at one time and if it is not full walk-ups may enter the remainder of that skate session for the same $5 entry fee.

A waiver is needed from all skaters regardless of age or skill level. They can be found at the rink at the time of rental, or on the Town of Dobson website along with the reservation form.

Helmets are not required but are suggested for younger skaters. No one younger than the age of 3 is allowed on the ice.

Elsewhere, the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad is accepting registrations now for the 52nd Annual Christmas Parade to be held on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Festivities will begin with the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall located at 124 West Main St., Pilot Mountain.

There will be carols performed by current members of the North Carolina Honors Chorus and past alumni. Also, the winners of the downtown window decorating contest will be announced at that time.

The parade will start soon thereafter and will travel a route from East Surry High School down to Main Street toward the Pilot Center. The event organizers said the parade will have dancing, horses, cheerleaders, marching bands, along with traditional favorites like floats, tractors, cars, public safety vehicles and Santa Claus.

“We are very thankful to once again have the opportunity to deliver another parade to our great community,” Assistant Chief Elijah T. Childers said of the upcoming event.

Organizers remind that all parade entries must be decorated for Christmas. All groups will have the opportunity to distribute candy as they see fit and to that end, they remind that Santa Claus will be at the end of the parade. Any of Santa’s extra helpers are asked to leave their red suits at home during the parade to avoid confusing any elves or reindeer.

Instructions and rules for the parade regarding use of four-wheelers, sirens, lights, parade line up time, and general community standards can all be found on their website.

The deadline to register for the parade is fast approaching on Saturday, Nov. 26. Those wanting to participate in the parade are directed to for registration and questions. Look for the “Parade Registration” button for access.



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