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Oakboro shares Christmas cheer

By Lisa Geraci, for the SNAP

Oakboro hosted an evening of free cocoa, music and fun for this year’s annual Christmas festivities Thursday.

Each storefront along Main Street played a role in the event. The First Baptist Youth Center displayed ornaments made from the little hands of pre-K class students from Oakboro Kids Club and Quality Child Center. Each of the four trees displayed handmade decorations crafted with popsicle sticks, clear bulbs, mason jar tops and colored pipe cleaners.

After a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a warm mug of hot cocoa, children found their art, gloating in the admiration received from their favorite fans — their parents.

“This is our first year doing this display and we are so excited about the compliments we have received so far,” Oakboro Regional Museum volunteer Anabel Speight said. “This is all made possible by our resident donors.”

Food trucks as well as local restaurants stayed busy with long lines and filled tables for most of the evening.

The steps of First Baptist Church of Oakboro illuminated the sidewalk with its candle-lit cross display while church members greeted the public with free hot chocolate and marshmallow snowmen. The children’s choir and cast of “Angels Say What” started the tree lighting ceremony with a sample song “Gloria” in Memorial Park. Afterward the adult worship choir graced the crowd with renditions of Christmas songs.

Before the lighting, Mayor Joyce Little addressed the Oakboro community and thanked everybody for another celebration.

The West Stanly Players dressed in character spent time shaking hands and introducing their comedic personas for their show this weekend called “Christmas Belles.”

Miss Stanly County Karie Grace Shields and Miss Stanly County Teen Shelby Sides commenced the tree lighting countdown, spreading the glow from their crowns to the 14-foot high white-bulb tree.

While people lined the streets in anticipation of the parade, general manager Bobby Reed of Oakboro Furniture made sure each parent was offered a free coffee and each child able to grab a holiday cookie.

“We have done this event multiple years. It has become a tradition. This night really brings people out for the festive season,” Reed said.

The parade with its custom floats of holiday cheer, tractors decked in lights, marching bands, classic cars and semi-trucks slowly trotted down Main for more than 30 minutes.

“Oakboro always does a fantastic job yearly of recognizing all the holidays and certainly Christmas is one they recognize with great gusto and festivity,” Jeff Chance said.

Lisa Geraci is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.