The Transylvania Times -

Picturing The Past: Christmas Parades Are Local Traditions


November 27, 2017

Courtesy photo

Santa arrives downtown at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, 1950 on a Brevard fire truck.

Community-wide holiday festivities have long been an important part of small town traditions. In Transylvania County, both Brevard and Rosman light up their main streets and hold an annual parade with floats, marching bands and the arrival of Santa Claus.

In Brevard Christmas parades became a part of the holiday season following WWII. In 1947 the Ecusta Band escorted Santa as he rode in on the new fire truck to open the festivities. He greeted children, received their wish lists and gave out candy. Christmas carols were enjoyed and stores stayed open late for shoppers. This was the practice for the next four years.

Floats were added to create a full-scale Christ-mas parade in 1952. The first floats were on large flat-bed trailers that were elaborately decorated.

Following a short gap when it appears there was not a Christmas parade in Brevard, the current run of annual Christmas parades sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and local merchants began in 1971.

The first Twilight Tour featuring carolers, musicians, carriage rides, a visit from Santa, and special sales at downtown stores was organized in 1987. Twilight Tour grew quickly and in 1990 the annual Christmas Parade and Twilight Tour were combined.

Rosman's annual Christmas parade dates back to at least the mid-1960s.

Courtesy photo

With the addition of floats in 1952, Santa's reindeer and sleigh made their debut in the Brevard Christmas parade.

If you have photographs from past parades in Brevard or Rosman, particularly of floats, that you would be willing to share, contact the local history room at the library. We can scan your photos and return them to you.

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Lib-rary. Visit the N.C. Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about local history and to see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected] or (828) 884-1820.)


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