70th Mooresville Christmas Parade
70th Christmas Parade rolls through downtown Tuesday
By Jessica Osborne/Mooresville Tribune
A local tradition since 1944 -- and downtown Mooresville’s signature event – returns Tuesday when the 70th annual Mooresville Christmas Parade rolls down Main Street. The rain-or-shine parade begins at 3:30 p.m. and will feature 125 floats, marching bands, vintage vehicles and dance and tumbling troupes. Hans deBot of Mooresville’s deBotech, best known for building the carbon fiber bobsleds used by the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team during the 2014 Winter Games, is the Grand Marshal. “I am so very honored and proud to represent our wonderful Town of Mooresville," said deBot. "Mooresville is a great location to build our business and raise our family, and I feel very blessed to call it home.”
Along with bobsleds, deBot’s company has been involved in building the Olympic Skeleton pods out of carbon fiber, worked closely with the United States Bobsled & Skeleton Federation to provide fast, light-weight bobsleds, skeleton pods, and saddles to the U.S. teams. The bobsleds and skeleton sled were used during last winter’s games in Sochi, Russia.
The company partnered with longtime NASCAR driver Jeff Bodine to build the Night Train 2 for the four-man bobsled competition, and deBot formed a strategic alliance with BMW North America to design and develop a fleet of carbon fiber bobsleds for the two-man bobsled competition for both the men and women’s teams.
Ron Johnson, the longtime organizer of the parade, said that this year’s 125 entries is intentionally fewer than before. In fact, the past three parades allowed for 170 entries, but Johnson said it was determined that a shorter parade would allow all participants to make their way down Main Street before darkness sets in. As usual, Santa Claus will anchor the end of the parade. The parade will begin at Statesville Avenue and march south to Merino's Home Furnishings. Spectators are urged to bring chairs or blankets and arrive early. Approximately 1.5 miles of Main Street will be closed for much of the day Tuesday in preparation for the parade. Motorists are urged to use Broad or Church streets as alternate routes through downtown. Parade parking is available along both alternate routes, and in any of the public lots which are accessible from Broad and Church.
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