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Posted on: November 15, 2019

Useful Tips to View the Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade on Dec. 8

Santa

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (Nov. 15, 2019) - Brilliantly lit floats and community groups will march up West Coleman Boulevard as the Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade sets sail to the delight of thousands of residents and visitors on Dec. 8. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a spectacular  fireworks show, immediately followed by the start of the parade at Live Oak Dr. traveling south and ending at the intersection of W. Coleman Blvd. and Patriots Point  Below are some useful tips to view the Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade:

  • What is the schedule of events? The fireworks display begins at approximately 5:30 p.m. (shooting from Town Hall to be visible on W. Coleman – Town Hall is NOT a viewing area). The parade will begin immediately after the fireworks at approximately 5:40 p.m. 
  • What is the parade route? The parade begins at Live Oak Dr. near Shem Creek and travels south on W. Coleman Boulevard to Patriots Point Rd. 
  • What is the road closure schedule? Coleman will close from Whilden St. to Pherigo St. at 4:00 p.m. for floats to lineup. Then at 5:00, W. Coleman will close from the off-ramp of the Ravenel Bridge to Whilden St. Plan to arrive early and enjoy time with your community! 
  • Why did the route start going south instead of north from Shem Creek and will it return to the old way? In 2017, construction began on Coleman Boulevard that made the former viewing area unsafe for large groups of people to gather. Input from participants and businesses along the route, as well as from police, fire, public services, and recreation department staff who run the event, has led to the decision to keep the route as is moving forward because we have found that it works better. Many issues were considered including public safety during both the lineup and the offload, visibility & logistical considerations due in part to the new landscaped medians, and restaurant/business participation in the viewing area. 
  • Is the current route shorter than the old route? The current route is 1.26 miles and the old route was 1.27 miles. 
  • When will Coleman Blvd. re-open? No cars are allowed on closed roadways until all pedestrian traffic is clear. In addition to Coleman Blvd., this affects sections of Houston Northcutt, Magrath Darby, and Patriots Point Rd. Police and Public Services staff work hard to open the road as efficiently as possible with public safety being the primary concern. All roads are typically re-opened between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. (earliest closest to the start line, later towards the end of the route). Vehicles are directed north as the re-opening occurs to avoid congestion behind the end of the parade as it travels south until all floats have finished unloading on Harry Hallman Jr. Blvd. 
  • What types of groups are in the parade? The parade includes a variety of organizations including local companies, school marching bands, sports teams and achievement groups, nonprofit organizations, and government entities. All participants do an amazing job and entries range from beautifully lit floats to cheerful costumed participants, award-winning marching bands and dignitaries.
  • Where is the best place to view the parade? People will line the sides of W. Coleman Boulevard from one end of the route to the other, and there are many great viewing areas from start to finish. There will be sidewalk seating along the parade route and a few bleachers will be set up along the route. 
  • Where are the emcees and judges located? The emcee and judges’ stage will be located at the end of Broadway between Kickin’ Chicken and Lyerly’s Cleaners. 
  • How long does the parade last? Approximately two to two and a half hours. It starts at 5:40 p.m. and concludes between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. depending where you sit on the route. 
  • Where should children go if they get separated from their group? Families and parade participants should have a safety plan in place. Instruct children to find a Town official, Firefighter or Police Officer on duty. Please go to the stage on Broadway or to the Lost Child Tent at Memorial Waterfront Park (for participants) if you need help.
  • What should I bring to the Parade? Warm coats and blankets are a good idea depending on the weather and folding chairs are allowed on the parade route. Chairs should not be put out until Sunday; anything put out and left alone before the parade is considered abandoned property. 
  • How do I dress? Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Since it’s December, it will probably be cool once the sun goes down. 
  • How many people come to the parade? The parade typically has an audience of around 15,000 – 25,000 people along the 1.26-mile route. 
  • Will there be food for sale? There are many restaurants on Coleman & W. Coleman Blvd. who will be happy to serve you indoors or take-out! 
  • Do people tailgate and/or picnic along the route? Yes, tailgating at the Christmas Light Parade is a long-standing tradition! We encourage you to come early, settle in and enjoy the festivities with a cup of hot cocoa, apple cider, or other warm beverage! Keep in mind that there are many restaurants located on W. Coleman Blvd. Alcohol will be available for sale inside restaurants and bars, but not on the street. Drink responsibly! This is a family event with many small children. Please keep a watchful eye on children. 
  • Will there be public restrooms? Lit port-o-lets will be available in various places throughout the lineup area as well as in the parade viewing area. Public restrooms are available at the Farmers Market Pavilion for participants in the lineup, at Shem Creek Park, and at Memorial Waterfront Park for participants in the off-load area. 
  • Are there street vendors? The Town does not allow street vendors to roam the street; however, some businesses allow vendors to set up on their property. 
  • Will there be any other entertainment going on? Some of the local restaurants and bars may have entertainment after the parade. 
  • What if it rains? Perish the thought! In more than 20 years, the parade has yet to ever be cancelled. It rolls down Coleman Blvd. in cold/heat, mist, light winds, light rain, and clouds. The parade will continue in rain, but if weather puts participants or spectators in danger, the parade will end. Each entry determines if the weather is appropriate for their float and their participants. Obviously, the weather requirements aren’t the same for a float with children compared to an antique auto entry. Any important announcements about the schedule can be heard on Y102.5 FM and updates can be found on Facebook on the @MountPleasantRec Christmas Light Parade event page. No announcement means there is no change. If the Parade is cancelled, it is not rescheduled. 
  • How do I vote for the People’s Choice Award? Voting for the People’s Choice Award is easy! During and after the parade, post your favorite float with the hashtag #VoteTheFloatMP on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Be sure to include the organization name and if you want to post a picture, that would be great!  Twitter: @MtPleasantGov Instagram: @ExperienceMP Facebook: @MountPleasantRec 
  • Who Runs the Parade? The Mount Pleasant Recreation Dept. Special Events Office plans the parade with a lot of assistance from the Mount Pleasant Fire, Police and Public Service Departments. It would not be such a huge success without the enthusiasm of all the local community organizations, schools and businesses who work hard each year to put together an amazing display of entries. 

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