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MIDDLESEX — The town board is marching ahead with plans to hold its annual Christmas parade Saturday despite a big game set for the same time and a forecast calling for rain.
If the parade is canceled, it won’t receive a raincheck. Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis said there’s just too much happening in the area until Christmas to try to reschedule the event, which is in its sixth year.
The Southern Nash High School football team will be playing in the 3-A state championship game in Raleigh on Saturday.
Given that game and the meteorologists calling for showers, town officials during their monthly meeting Monday grappled with the idea of calling off the parade.
Police Chief Mike Collins asked Lewis to call off the parade at the earliest possible moment due to the logistics involved with cancelling the event. Vendors, food trucks, emergency responders and deputies all have to be notified if the parade isn’t going to happen.
“The weather forecast today doesn’t look good,” Lewis said. “But I’d hate to call off the parade then come Saturday afternoon it’s 60 degrees and sunny out.”
The parade was called off two years ago due to rain. That decision was made at 9 a.m. the morning of the event.
Lewis said he’s been inundated already this week with phone calls about the parade.
“I had a dozen phone calls today,” Lewis said. “We are going ahead with the parade even though a lot of people will be in Raleigh for the championship game. That is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are all certainly pulling for them.”
But the excitement there might dampen holiday cheer in Middlesex. A staple of the parade, the high school’s marching band will be in Raleigh as well.
“If it’s not raining at 2 p.m., we will step off,” Lewis said of beginning the parade.
Food trucks will be behind Town Hall on Main Street to sell lunch beginning at noon.
In other business, the town’s commissioners who won reelection last month, J.W. McClenny, Danny Alford and Cherrye High Davis, took their oaths of office to begin their 2020 terms.