Updated Sunday 12 p.m.
During the decades of Marines toting instruments along downtown streets, cheerleaders performing and dancers spinning during the annual Christmas parade in Beaufort, no one recalls weather ever changing plans.
Organizers say weather isn’t canceling the parade this year either.
Pat Harvey-Palmer, an organizer, said Sunday morning the rain is predicted to stop early afternoon.
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“We are going to move forward,” Harvey-Palmer said. “We have never had this problem for a parade ever. It is what it is.”
The parade is scheduled for 3 p.m.
“Hopefully we’ll have some sunshine and have a parade,” said Harvey-Palmer, who has been involved in the parade 25 years, the past 12 as an organizer. “All we need is about three to four hours and we’re good to go.”
This year’s parade includes more than 100 entries, with more than 1,000 people expected to participate. The traditional parade route carries the group of bands, local nonprofit organizations, businesses and public officials down Boundary Street from Adventure Street, heads down Carteret Street and then past all the shopfronts on Bay Street.
A fire truck carries Santa as a grand finale.
“This parade is really a parade — everybody is in a good mood; they’re in a festive mood,” Harvey-Palmer said. “They decorate; they’re excited.”
Rain could affect plans for the Parris Island Marine Band, which must protect its instruments, Harvey-Palmer said.
If weather does force the parade from its slot, Dec. 16 is the only time available to reschedule, said Linda Roper, the city’s director of downtown operations and community services. City officials were also considering the status of the annual boat parade in the Beaufort River on Saturday night, when rain was also forecast.
Port Royal moved its annual golf cart parade on Paris Avenue to Friday night because of the Saturday forecast after holding its tree-lighting Wednesday.
Beaufort’s tree-lighting and other downtown activities were expected to go on as scheduled Friday night.
This is the first year the city has organized the holiday weekend, which in the past was run by Main Street Beaufort.
“We’ve kept it traditional,” Roper said. “It’s traditional holiday weekend, and everything’s come together really nicely.”