Thanks to all who helped with Christmas parade

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Pat Oglesby

To all who participated in the 2013 Van Wyck Christmas Parade:  Thank you so much! The weather on Saturday, Dec. 7, started out iffy, but we received a much-prayed-for window that permitted everyone to participate.

The Indian Land Band, under the direction of Mathew Willis and Scott Fleischman, sounded terrific and looked so good in their “ugly” Christmas sweaters. The IL ROTC was impressive and sharp in its presentation and in the number who participated.

Grand marshal Alex Sims, 100, woke up “raring to go” that morning. Alex enjoyed riding with elves Beth Denton and Faith Broome in Faith’s cute red convertible. 

Special guest Maurice Williams and two members of the Zodiacs band had a great time and enjoyed riding in a beautiful classic 1936 silver Pontiac, owned by Marion and Linda Sullivan Jones of Van Wyck.  Maurice had a great time joking around with Mr. Grinch (Richard Vaughan) after the parade and having his picture taken with fans.

The Topless in Sun City car club provided several of their beautiful cars, all decked out for Christmas. We hope they’ll be a part of our parade again next year.  

Our local politicians and dignitaries, S.C. Sen. Greg Gregory, S.C. Rep. Deborah Long and Lancaster County Councilman Larry McCullough also supported our community with their appearances and enjoyed greeting everyone. Dr. George Shuetz looked dapper driving Gregory in his 1916 Packard with the ah-oog-ah horn. Thank you to everyone who drove their beautiful cars for the special guests to ride in. 

Mrs. Ada Dickson, 95, the oldest member of White Oak AME Zion Church, looked fashionable in her warm black-and-white-checked suit and never stopped smiling.

Van Wyck Postmaster Betty George looked so cool decked out in cobalt blue to match the blue Corvette belonging to driver Tommy Broome. 

Our favorite clown, Officer Van Wyckie (Jimmy Fox), delighted the children with his antics.

We couldn’t have had the parade without the Van Wyck/Charlotte Road Volunteer Fire Department truck and members and Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile and deputies. Even the Grinch showed us that the Van Wyck Crime Watch will be on the lookout for anyone trying to steal Christmas from Van Wyck – not happenin’, Mr. Grinch. The Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops really were full of happiness, joy and community pride. 

American Legion Post 31 reminded us of the sacrifice made for this country by so many and of the significance of this date, Dec. 7. We were honored by their presence.

The Red Rose Council Knights of Pythagarous showed their community pride with their brilliant outfits and banner.

The White Oak youth choir filled a truck bed with carolers and looked so festive with their special face paint designs. Elmo made an appearance in his little red car and delighted the children. The ponies from Belfair Farms were beautiful and pranced right along with the marchers.

Van Wyck Presbyterian Church minister Bill Johnson and church members carried a banner and reminded us all of the real reason for the celebration, the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Van Wyck Express train, driven by Gene Reinhart, brought Mrs. Claus (Betty Broome) to town, while Santa (Donnie Hicks) arrived in style in his beautiful sleigh. Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted children and adults alike at the Van Wyck Community Center and posed for pictures. Everyone greeted one another and enjoyed cookies provided by the Van Wyck Woman’s Club at the center.  Thanks to Jan Blainey for organizing things at the center.

A special thanks to Lisa and John Essex for allowing us to use their front lawn for parking. Thank you to Cathy Madden and Jane Massey for directing parking. Thank you to Janie Straight for the professional signs for the dignitary cars. Tractors, trucks and everyone else, thank you.

A special thank you to Dennis Wiese who again orchestrated getting everyone in the right place in the lineup and getting the parade started right on time at noon. Fire department chief Craig Roof and his volunteer firemen were a great help.

Van Wyck Community Development Club President Jane Massey and club members sponsor this fantastic event for the community every year. 

Thank you to the Lancaster News and Carolina Gateway for your coverage and support.

We had more than 50 entrants in the parade. I sincerely thank everyone for your participation and help. It was a great day to be in Van Wyck, S.C.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Pat Oglesby was chairman of the 2013 Van Wyck Christmas Parade