‘All About the Lights’: Farmville Christmas Parade will go at night

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, November 30, 2023

First, let’s make this clear. Yes, Oliver Anthony will be part of the Farmville Christmas parade this Sunday. And no, he’s not coming alone, as Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there as well. The whole thing will also look a bit different, as it’ll happen at night.  

The Farmville Jaycees Christmas parade will take the streets at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, in Downtown Farmville. A big change this year is that the parade will be a nighttime parade which is the first in decades for Farmville. The theme is All About the Lights which will go perfectly with the new time. This is one of a few changes this year as the Jaycees try to give the parade something new for viewers to enjoy. 

“We are doing stuff a little trial and error this year but it will still be amazing,”  said Warren Reid, president of the Jaycees. “I’m excited and a little nervous but we’re gonna get it done.” 

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This year, the parade has 96 entries including many, as Reid called them, Farmville favorites. Farmville clubs, organizations, churches, businesses and more will be participating, including a combination band of Fuqua School and Prince Edward marching bands. 

Farmville Christmas Parade offers surprises

Now yes, Prince Edward resident Oliver Anthony, who will launch his first world tour in 2024, will be in the parade. We also have some local celebrities serving as emcee and judges, including Andre Blanton, Landis Mccoy, Tacola Scott, Jalila Ahmad, Dove Standley and former Farmville mayor David Whitus.

Viewers should bring a chair and be prepared to come early to get a good spot. Reid suggests setting up by 4:45 or 5 p.m. at the latest to make sure to get a good spot. Some churches will be serving hot cocoa while attendees wait for the parade.  

“It’s shaping out to be a good crowd even with the possibility of rain,” said Reid. “It’s a rain or shine event so we might get a good test of the rain part.”

The parade will start near the Department of Motor Vehicles on North Virginia Street and 2nd Street and make its way west on 2nd Street to the North Main Street intersection and turn left onto South Main Street before ending near the McDonalds on Putney Street. 

Parking will be available in the municipal lots throughout town at East 2nd Street and South Street beside The Outer You, West 2nd Street and North Street across from the Farmville Community Marketplace and South Street behind the courthouse. There will also be public restrooms at the High Bridge Plaza on Main Street across from Depo Street. 

A bit of history

For over 70 years, the Farmville Jaycees have sponsored this Christmas tradition. The Farmville Jaycees are a group of young and active citizens coming together to work for a common cause and to build a sense of community while positively impacting their community.

The Parade line up as it stands at press time is as follows: 

1) Farmville Police Department – Officer of the Year Rachal Herndon

2) Bland Reid Funeral Home

3) Prince Edward Sheriff: L. A. “Tony” Epps

4) Grand Marshals: Little Miss Ava Frederick and Christmas Mother Jacquelyn Reid

5) Fuqua School and Prince Edward Combined Marching Unit

6) Prince Edward V/JV Cheer

7) Farmville Police Department – Communications Officer of the Year

8) J.R. Tharpe Trucking Co.

9) Oliver Anthony Music

10) The Cougar Cub – PRIDE Of Blackstone Primary School

11) Southside Virginia Family YMCA

12) Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Kappa Rho Omega Chapter

13) Prince Edward Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office

14) Five County Fair Court

15) Prince Edward FFA

16) Miss American Star Achievement

17) Farmville Volunteer Fire Department

18) Mary E. Branch Heritage Center

19) Centra Southside Community Hospital

20) Fuqua Homecoming Court

21) Fuqua School 2023 Varsity Volleyball Team

22) Waterworks Players

23) Fresh Boyz Club

24) Fresh Girlz Club

25) Farmville Girl Scouts

26) New Flame COGIC

27) Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad

28) Old Dominion Historical Fire Society

29) Delta Response Team

30) Farmville Lions Club

31) Social Butterflies

32) Benchmark Community Bank

33) Apache (1958 Chevrolet Pickup Truck)

34) VA Smoove Rydaz and Friends

35) Motion Gymnastics and Tumbling Center

36) Cub Scout Pack 6296

37) Vintage Vaqueras Trail Riders

38) Piedmont Health District/(MRC)

39) Oakwood Homes

40) Prince Edward Youth Football and Cheerleading

41) Southside Electric Cooperative

42) The Fishin’ Pig

43) Creative Electrical Contractors

44) Leading Girls of Today Social Circle

45) Thomas Hardy Graham VFW Post 7059

46) American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary

47) Darlington Heights Volunteer Fire Department

48) Hampden Sydney Volunteer Fire Department

49) Prospect Volunteer Fire Department

50) Rice Volunteer Fire Department

51) Blanton Car Club

52) Farmville Baptist Church

53) Friends Of Twin Lakes

54) Appomattox River Company

55) Alliance Fitness

56) Longwood University Women’s Athletics

57) Cumberland High School Marching Band

58) Virginia Center For Behavioral Rehabilitation

59) Farmville PRIDE

60) Dynamic Divas

61) Royal Jewelz

62) Dale Hickman – 1979 Ford F150 4×4

63) ECWG Faith And Family Foundation

64) Brian Rundstrom Racing

65) Centra PACE

66) Airheads Inflatables

67) Southside SPCA

68) Cullen Volunteer Fire Department

69) Passion Community Church – Farmville

70) Carrington And Crafton Academy of Performing Arts

71) Trinity Church

72) Sandy River Outdoor Adventures and Sandy River Distillery

73) Bobby Newcomb – 1968 Mustang

74) C. F. Marion Trucking Inc.

75) Max Sangillo/ Jordaine Penick

76) American Soldier Lawncare

77) North Street Press Club

78) Yak Attack

79) Strike Force Travel Baseball Team

80) American Red Cross

81) Farmville Winter Solstice

82) Commonwealth Pediatric Dentistry

83) WVHL-FM Kickin’ Country 92.9

84) Wood Property Service LLC

85) Meherrin Volunteer Fire & Rescue

86) Pamplin Volunteer Fire Department

87) Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department

88) The Woodland

89) The Tipsy Carriage

90) Zachary Mckinney Technology

91) Boyer Farm and Trucking LLC

92) Douglas Hall

93) Crossroads Community Service Board

94) Farmville Health and Rehab Center

95) Bo-LIT (Bojangles)

96) Mr. and Mrs. Claus