Christmas parade

Nothing is stopping this year’s Brunswick Christmas Parade, but it might look different.

The parade will begin rolling down Gloucester Street at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s going to be a lot shorter,” said Mathew Hill, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. “(There are) fewer entries, which is understandable.”

While the yuletide caravan won’t be as long as it might have in past years, Hill said he’s excited nonetheless because the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division plans to send its marching band to Brunswick.

“We have a band from Fort Stewart for the first time in the time I’ve been doing the parade,” Hill said.

Aside from that, onlookers can expect a typical mix of high school bands, some businesses, church groups and, of course, that jolly ol’ elf himself, Santa Claus.

“I think we’ve got a respectable number,” Hill said.

Everyone is encouraged to follow guidelines recommended by health agencies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a face mask, regular hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping a six-foot distance from others and staying home if one feels sick.

“We are very conscious of everyone’s safety,” said Jennifer Krouse, Downtown Development Authority event and marketing coordinator. “Participants will be more spaced out and there will be plenty of room for social distancing.”

Hill echoed the sentiment, noting Gloucester Street is long enough for people to stay spaced apart.

“You have a whole mile in which to distance yourself so you do not have to be in a crowd and it will even be live-streamed, so you can watch the parade from home,” Hill said.

This year’s parade grand marshal is Michelle Johnston, president of College of Coastal Georgia.

The parade will be broadcast live to Facebook at facebook.com/heiserlistings.

The Jekyll Island Authority also is getting into the holiday spirit, decking the halls for the annual Holly Jolly Jekyll celebration. Now through Jan. 3, 2021, “lights, festive fun and lots of cheer” can be found on the scenic barrier island.

Through the beginning of January, visitors to the island can participate in trolley tours of the Christmas-light adorned homes, businesses and government buildings; holiday-themed guided history tours; strategically placed Santa Claus chairs at the Mosaic Jekyll Island Museum, the Historic District and the Beach Village commercial hub; a direct mailbox to write letters to Santa in the Beach Village.

On Saturday, the golf carts, vehicles and floats will trundle along in the Holly Jolly Jekyll Parade from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The parade will start at the Jekyll Ocean Club, 80 Ocean Way, and end at the Jekyll Island Golf Complex, 322 Captain Wylly Road.

On the following Sunday and again on Dec. 20, the JIA will cap off the evening with a fireworks display near Great Dunes Beach Park.

Get tickets for events at jekyllisland.com.

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