The parade route
The parade will start at the Board of Education building on Bradwell Street and make its way down East Memorial Drive, continue around the traffic circle to West Memorial Drive and turn left on Gause Street.
The procession will turn left on and proceed down West Gen. Screven Way. Marchers will turn on West Hendry Street and connect to South Main Street, which turns into North Main Street. The parade will go right on West Memorial Drive at the traffic circle and head back to the BoE parking lot.
The 14th annual Liberty County Chamber of Commerce’s Illuminated Christmas Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday and will wind its way through much of the downtown business district.
According to the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce website, www.libertycounty.org, the parade draws more than 10,000 spectators from Liberty County and the surrounding areas. Last year, the Hinesville police department estimated about 15,000 people attended.
“The Illuminated Christmas Parade is a community event that brings together many Liberty County organizations, churches, dance groups, clubs and local schools,” chamber interim director Leah Poole said. “It allows our citizens to celebrate the holiday season and be creative, decorating their entry with Christmas lights each year with a different parade theme.”
About 70 groups will participate in the Christmas through the decades-themed parade and marchers will hand out promotional items and candy, Poole said.
Although there will not be any vendors selling hot chocolate or food, downtown businesses along the parade route — Shane’s Rib Shack, Juan’s Mexicali, Zum Rosenhof, Uncommon Grounds and others will stay open late, the interim director said.
Participants will line up at 4:30 p.m. in the Liberty County Board of Education parking lot.
“The streets close and open incrementally as the parade passes through to try and ensure the smoothest traffic possible,” Poole said.
Although the weather will be chilly — AccuWeather.com is predicting a low temperature of 37 degrees — organizers expect a large crowd.
“The excitement of the children lined up along the parade is another great part of the Christmas parade,” Poole said. “The kids look forward to seeing the floats, bands, and dance teams, but the best part is Santa at end of the parade on the fire truck.”