UNION — The past, present, and future of Union County will be celebrated on Main Street in downtown Union on Friday, Dec. 1 during “A Union County Christmas: Past, Present & Future.”
Sponsored by The Union County Chamber of Commerce, the event will be held from 6-9 p.m. beginning with a Lighted Union Christmas Parade. This will be followed by:
• A Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the lawn of the Union County Courthouse.
• Carriage and Wagon Rides along Main Street. Rides will cost $5 for adults and $3 for children.
• Downtown Open House during which the businesses of Main Street will be open giving those in attendance the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.
• Vendors selling food along Main Street.
• Christmas entertainment.
• A storyteller at Main Street Junction who will be telling stories about Christmases past.
No Christmas celebration is complete without an appearance by Santa Claus and the Jolly Old Elf will be at Main Street Junction. Santa will be there to visit with the children in attendance and to pose for pictures with them. Pictures with Santa will be $5.
The theme of this year’s Christmas celebration is “A Union County Christmas: Past, Present & Future,” which Union County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jami Trammell said was chosen through an online contest.
“Our Facebook followers were allowed to make suggestions and we decided on the suggestion that had the most requests,” Trammell said this week.
In keeping with the theme, Trammell said there will be three parade marshals with one representing the past, another the present, and the third the future.
Trammell the parade marshal representing the past will be Union County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and former City of Union Public Safety Director Russell Roark.
“He’s given 55 years of service to the city and the county and we wanted to honor him for his continued service to the community,” Trammell said. “He still works for the Sheriff’s Office every day.
The parade marshal representing the present will be Lockhart Power Senior Manager of Community Relations and former Union County Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker who Trammell said is being honored for the economic transformation of Union County.
“When she found her way to the Development Board in 2009, Union County’s unemployment rate was 19.3 percent and now it’s 5 percent,” Trammell said. “During Andrena’s time on the development board there was over $330 million in capital investment and nearly 1,000 jobs announced. Our board felt that our present day situation where every industry is hiring and many are expanding are the result of her hard work and we want to honor her as well.”
The parade marshal representing the future will be USC Union Acting Dean John Catalano who Tramell said has articulated a vision for the future of USC Union, a future that she said is coming to fruition.
“All you have to to is talk to him about the future of USC Union to get excited about where we’re going,” Trammell said. “Enrollment is at a record high and student housing is on the move. We know our future is bright.”
For more information about A Union County Christmas: Past, Present & Future contact the Union County Chamber of Commerce at 864-427-9039.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.