Town of Millsboro takes reins of annual Christmas parade

MILLSBORO – The town of Millsboro has assumed the reins of the planning sleigh for the annual Christmas parade previously undertaken by the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce.

Town council at its April 2 meeting agreed to assume the role, starting with this year’s parade in early December.

The town of Millsboro has agreed to assume planning for the annual Christmas parade.

Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson informed council he and Mayor John Thoroughgood were approached by the chamber with its proposal.

“The chamber board has expressed an interest in turning that parade over to the town. As you know it has been a chamber parade at least in recent years,” said Mr. Hudson.

In addition, Mr. Hudson said the Millsboro chamber is interested in dropping the annual Easter Egg Hunt next year and in future years.

“So, I guess my question to the council: Is that something the town is prepared to take on?” Mr. Hudson said.

Council’s consensus was to initially take on the Christmas parade.

“I think we should at least keep the Christmas Parade, if they aren’t willing to do it,” said councilman Tim Hodges. “I say, let’s do the Christmas parade and revisit the Easter egg hunt in the fall.”

Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Turner explained the reason for the chamber’s request.

“We don’t want the public/community’s perception to be that we’re giving up on them.  Because that’s not it.  We’ve got a business membership who need more focus on, and it’s just going to take some time,” Mr. Turner said. “Our Chamber’s purpose is the advancement of civic and commercial interests of our community’s economic well-being.  The Chamber is here to help increase prosperity by facilitating the growth of existing businesses and foster new ones as well.  In pursuit of this goal, the Chamber aims to help build a better community, in which to live.”

“We’re very happy that the town is going to take the reins, and we’ll be there to assist them with whatever we can manage,” said Mr. Turner. “Who’s to say we won’t pick either the Xmas Parade or the Easter Egg Hunt back up in the future?”

Parade planning and staging will necessitate a good deal of volunteers.

“I don’t think the cost is prohibitive. It is more coordination and person power,” said Mr. Hudson. “The nice thing is we will have hopefully an assistant town manager in the next month or so that can hopefully provide some administrative support for that event.”

The town last December sponsored a post-parade event at the Millsboro Town Center, featuring school groups and other volunteers.

Volunteers are the backbone of a successful event, such as a parade.

Mr. Hudson noted the volunteer effort from schools and others in last year’s town-sponsored post-parade event at the Millsboro Town Center. He also referred to student, church and community interest in the town. About six months ago, a group from Bayshore Church in Gumboro conducted a clean-up bee in town limits. Another clean-up event with Delmarva Christian Schools is in the works.

“I have seen an increase in volunteerism. I am speculating but I am guessing a lot of that is because people see some of the positives and changes in the town. Not that the town wasn’t nice before, but I think they see that we are becoming even more progressive, moving forward, and you’re seeing people kind of buy into that idea,” said Mr. Hudson. “I am hoping that means that a lot of those same folks and maybe some additional folks will be willing to chip in as the town takes on the Christmas parade. Of course, last year we did events at the town center. As we take on all of the Christmas events this year I am hoping that we’ll get some additional volunteers.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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