We Love a Parade

In about four weeks, the town of Blythewood will be welcoming thousands of residents and visitors as they line the streets for the 17th annual Blythewood Christmas Parade on Dec. 9. Of all the events and programs that the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce organizes, the second Sunday of December is the one day of the year where we put everything we have into showcasing the best of our hometown — from the award-winning Blythewood High School marching band, to local churches and Scout troops, to families riding horses, antique cars, ATVs and tractors. And we thoroughly enjoy doing so.

Organizing an event of this magnitude each year requires partnership and cooperation within the Chamber and within our community. Each year, Chamber members voluntarily solicit parade entries, ask for sponsorships, take care of logistics, invite emcees and dignitaries, write the parade commentary, direct participants to their spot in the parade, and attend to numerous other behind-the-scenes details that make for a great parade that everyone can enjoy.

Every fall, Harold Branham paints a beautiful new scene of our hometown and provides us with 40 signed, framed prints at cost so that we can offer them as incentives to parade sponsors. We’re also fortunate to have dedicated sponsors and parade participants that we can count on to come back year after year for this great event.

And every year, the Town of Blythewood and its Accommodations Tax Committee graciously grant our request for funding to help cover necessary parade expenses so that we can direct most, if not all, of our parade sponsorships to our scholarship fund. These sponsorships, combined with proceeds from our golf tournament and “Happy Dollar” donations made during our monthly breakfast meetings, enable us to provide at least four $1,000 scholarships and the $1,500 Carolyn Raines Memorial scholarship to college-bound students who live within the 29016 zip code area. Although we’ve all felt the recessionary squeeze for the last few years, our scholarship fund has actually grown to the point that we’ve been able to offer an additional $1,500 scholarship for the last two years.

This fact confirms what we already know: that Blythewood is indeed a special place filled with generous, dedicated people who care deeply about their community. So, make plans now to come out on Dec. 9 and join us for another great Blythewood Christmas Parade!

Kristin Jewell,

Blythewood resident; Chairman, Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]