On Saturday, December 4th, 2021, the Town of Bluffton will proudly present its annual Christmas Parade 

Bluffton Christmas Event

Date: Saturday, December 4th, 2021
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Downtown Bluffton SC
Cost: Free

Below is information from the 2020 parade dealing with COVID. When we have this year’s information, we will post it immediately.

Parade. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade will be modified to a reverse parade held on May River Road.

WHAT IS A REVERSE PARADE? A reverse parade is a creative way to hold a socially distanced holiday celebration. In a reverse parade, the parade entrants are stationary. Rather than large groups of spectators gathering along Town streets, they will drive by the parade entrants and remain safely in their vehicles. Parade entrants will be positioned a minimum of 10 feet from the next entrant and a safe distance from any traveling vehicles. No candy or promotional items may be distributed by the parade entrants.

As with tradition, the parade is on December 5, as the parade is always held on the first Saturday of December. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon. The parade will be held rain or shine unless the Town of Bluffton deems weather conditions as unsafe.

Parade Spectators (the route you take to drive past the parade floats): 

Beginning at 10 a.m., parade spectators will start at the intersection of Bluffton and May River Road, also known as “the 4-way-stop” and continue west on May River Road, finishing at Pin Oak Street and Thomas Heyward Street.

 

Click Here to Download Bluffton Christmas Parade Route Map

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30th. Completed applications may be submitted via email to [email protected] or dropped off at Town Hall located at 20 Bridge Street. We encourage you to apply early as space is limited to the first 50 entries. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Application packages must contain a completed “Waiver for Bluffton Parade” form completed for each person who will be a part of your parade entry. Incomplete application packages cannot be approved for participation. 

PARADE SCHEDULE: DECEMBER 5, 2020 8:30 A.M. – Line-up begins 9:30 A.M. – All parade entrants must be set-up and ready 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. – Reverse parade (last car at 12 P.M.)

INCLEMENT WEATHER: In the event of inclement weather, the parade will continue as scheduled unless the Town of Bluffton deems the weather to be unsafe for the event. Your participation in the event during inclement weather is at your discretion. There will be NO postponement or rescheduling of the parade.

Other important notes:
• This will be a drive-thru parade only. Individuals not associated with the parade floats will not be allowed to enter the parade area.
• Masks will be required to be worn when social distancing is unable to be obtained.
• Please be prepared to perform, wave to the attendees, etc. from 10:00 A.M. till 12:00 P.M. Floats will not be allowed to leave prior to 12:00 P.M..
• Use of alcoholic beverages by any and all parade participants is absolutely prohibited. Disregarding this rule will result in immediate removal from the parade.
• All drivers must stay with their float from the time they arrive to the time the reverse parade ends.
• Please report problems to a Parade Marshal. Parade Marshals will be wearing safety vests and will be able to direct participants to lost and found, first aid and information stations.
• For safety reasons and for social distancing, the Town has prohibited vendors within the parade footprint during the Bluffton Christmas Parade. No one is permitted to set up on the sidewalks nor on the streets anywhere in the parade footprint on parade day between the hours of 7:00 A.M-2:00 P.M. • Contact the Bluffton Parade Committee at [email protected] with any questions.

Entry Rules:

• Entries will be limited to 50 participants max.
• Application entries will begin on November 2, 2020.
• Application deadline is November 30, 2020.
• Entry applicants will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.
• This will be a drive-thru parade only. Individuals not associated with the parade floats will not be allowed to enter the parade area.
• Absolutely NO items may be handed out or tossed from floats! This includes but is not limited to: candy, flowers, beads, toys and pamphlets.
• All parade participants MUST enter from Pin Oak Street, Thomas Heyward Drive or west of these streets and travel east down May River Road in order to pull into parade parking spots.

Float Requirements:

• Maximum Float Dimensions – Height 12’, Width 10’, Length 40’ (not to exceed 40’). Each float will be spaced 10’ apart from one another.
• Entries must be decorated and reflect the holiday theme. Please refrain from being predominately commercial in nature.
• Entries are encouraged to display the name of the organization and/or business.
• Only one entry per organization/business.
Any single-unit truck (no trailer) should not exceed 40 feet in length. Any combination vehicle (power unit plus trailer) which is connected using a pintle-hook or ball hitch system should not exceed 40 feet in length as measured from the forward most vehicle component to the rearmost component of the trailer.
• Any combination vehicle which is connected using a fifth-wheel assembly should not exceed 40 feet in length as measured from the forward most vehicle component to the rearmost component of the trailer.
• Low boy equipment trailers and flatbeds are permitted only if used as part of a float and decorated. No protruding outrigger wheels or other appendages that might snare and scrape passing vehicles.
• Vehicle entries are required to carry a five-pound/3A40BC fire extinguisher, available for purchase at any hardware store.

Applications for parade entries will be accepted until November 30th at the close of business. Submit your application HERE.

Bluffton’s Christmas Tree: 

The Town Christmas Tree will be lit on Friday, December 4. However, due to safety precautions, the Town will stream this event on Facebook Live, instead of having a crowd gather. Mayor Sulka is expected to announce the parade’s Grand Marshal at the tree lighting. Unfortunately, we will not have our customary children’s choir, cocoa and Santa this year out of an abundance of caution to keep us all as healthy as possible through the holidays and beyond.

Bluffton Christmas Tree Lighting 2020