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Several years ago, Wilson almost lost our Christmas parade. The Wilson Jaycees, after running the event for decades, notified the city that they would no longer hold the event. I recall a true effort to find another civic club or community group to take on the parade, but it is a lot of work and no offers came.
With the pledged support of the city of Wilson, Wilson Downtown Development Corp. agreed to step in and save the Christmas parade. Since that time, they have worked hard, along with dedicated city staff and volunteers, and our great tradition has continued and improved.
Due to scheduling groups like the Shriners and marching bands, along with other factors, last year the parade was moved up to the weekend before Thanksgiving. With the parade again before Thanksgiving, a decision was made to change the name from Christmas Parade to Holiday Parade. That news came out last week and the Wilson City Council and I have heard from several residents.
I have been mayor long enough that my position on this should surprise no one. I hold the National Day of Prayer each year on the courthouse steps, I have insisted that the Wilson City Council continue to open each meeting with prayer, and I worship with many of you in churches all across this city most every weekend.
I have lived in Wilson my entire life, our parade has always been the Wilson Christmas Parade, and I believe it needs to stay the Wilson Christmas Parade. I have asked our staff to work with all parties to reverse this decision.
I encourage all of our citizens to support the city and WDDC with the great revitalization that is happening in our downtown.
I hope to see you at the Wilson Christmas Parade, our annual Christmas tree lighting and Candyland Christmas in downtown Wilson!
C. Bruce Rose
The writer is mayor of Wilson.