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RC Takes the Christmas Parade


Photo Courtesy of Sarah Joseph

Article Written by Sarah Joseph

Crowds gathered along the sidewalks of Main street, with children running around, their parents desperately trying to reign them in, and young adults snuggling under blankets with hot cocoa in hand. Last Friday, Dec. 2 the annual Salem Christmas Parade transversed through the downtown streets of Salem. The city of Salem came together to celebrate Christmas and to showcase the creativity and activity of Salem.

Nikki Sabilia, Sophomore, was the central person responsible for Roanoke College’s own float. She told of how and why she and the committee decorated the float the way they did. “There was an idea meeting for the christmas parade a few weeks before Thanksgiving. I have a history in doing stage tech and set production, so, I took on this challenge. I had only a slight clue of what I wanted to accomplish and a whole lot of vision.The idea we wanted to convey was to pay homage to the 175 year anniversary of Roanoke College. The vision we decided on was a victorian style sleigh, sans Santa, due to parade regulations. The Monday before Thanksgiving, about an hour before hitting the road for New York, Tanya Ridpath and I measured a flatbed trailer. I saw this as my pumpkin from which a carriage would follow.”

It seems like this newspaper had a hand in the parade this year as Sabilia explained: “I’m an Environmental Studies major, so, as the superintendent of this project, I felt strongly that it should be made out of mostly recycled materials. I gleaned about 300 square feet of old cardboard boxes and Brackety-Acks from all across college-owned property before leaving for the Holiday.  I had Monday through Friday of the week of December 2nd to turn my pumpkin into a Victorian sleigh. Without proper blueprints, or really any idea of what was to come, I began construction alone on Monday and realized how much help was really needed to bring this sleigh to fruition. I appealed to my lovely team at the Campus Activities Board. Their hard work and positive attitudes are what really brought this plank of cardboard, glue, and old newspapers to life.  By the time the parade came around, I was truly astonished at how lovely the float had turned out. I can’t wait to make a better one next year.”

With the wide variety of floats this one definitely stood out as one of the more unique float conceptions. Among the biggest and brightest of the paraders were the Boy Scout’s Knights of the Lord castle float, a living room scene of Christmas float, the fire throwers, and the clowns. The clowns created a scene, driving wheelys and creating much noise as they laughed and joked with the crowd. There was a bubble machine car among the clowns and an Elf clown that was the practical joker of the bunch, preventing one clown’s car from moving and then acting just as confused as the other clown as to why it would not move.

“The Salem Christmas parade epitomizes the spirit of the town by bringing together a myriad of people for a celebration of the Christmas spirit,” said William Lambert, Sophomore. If you missed the parade this year, be sure to drop by next year.