1. This is the 36th year of the event
The towns of Davidson and Cornelius are jointly presenting the North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade. It starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the intersection of Griffith Street and N.C. 115 (Main Street) in Davidson and ends 1.7 miles to the south at the Cornelius intersection of N.C. 115 (Main Street) and Catawba Avenue. The organizers come from Davidson’s Parks and Recreation Department as well as police and public safety officers from both towns.
2. There are 120 entries this year but no candy
Though last year the parade allowed 130 entries, this year’s edition was capped at 120. Last year, Davidson Parks and Recreation Director Kathryn Spatz said the committee had to narrow down the field after receiving more entries than allotted. There will be high school bands, horses, tractors, school groups, civic organizations and more. Those participating are not allowed to throw objects into the crowd. Additionally, candy may not be given out on the sidewalk.
3. There are two grand marshals
Representatives from each town are the parade’s grand marshals. From Davidson, Ralph Quackenbush will be joined by his wife, Carol. Quackenbush is a U.S. Army veteran and moved to Davidson in 1970. He has volunteered locally with the Davidson Community Players, the Town of Davidson and with two churches. He also served on the Davidson Housing Coalition board for 17 years as treasurer. He has received the Davidson Citizenship Award, Rotary Club award and was recognized by the town with the Jack Burney Award in 2010. He currently still volunteers as Davidson’s parking enforcement officer.
4. David, Diana Rochester represent Cornelius
The couple attended the inaugural Cornelius Citizen’s Academy in 2008 and have served as an official volunteer for the town police department since 2009. Over the last 10 years, the Rochesters have each volunteered thousands of hours for many events and tasks inside the police department. David has stripped more than 50 police surplus vehicles, while Diana has worked within the agency in many roles. They were recognized Nov. 13 at the police department and Nov. 19 Cornelius town board meeting with awards for their volunteer hours; David has 5,827 hours and Diana has 6,240.
5. Each town will still have its own celebration
The day of the North Mecklenburg parade is the final day of Christmas in Davidson. The three-day event has a variety of music, food, performances and shopping throughout downtown Davidson. On Sunday in Cornelius, Bella Love presents Christmas in Cornelius at the Oak Street Mill. The inaugural event is an afternoon of live bands, Christmas carols and choirs, food trucks, craft breweries, holiday kids activities and a visit from Santa.