Tryon Christmas parade set for Wednesday

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Free food offered at Shops of Tryon parking lot

TRYON — After a snowy last week that postponed many events, the Tryon Christmas parade is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday downtown.

Landrum’s parade, originally set for last Saturday, was canceled and not able to be rescheduled.

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Saluda held its hometown Christmas Friday and Columbus held its Christmas parade and hometown Christmas on Dec. 6 after having to reschedule because of rain.

Free food will be available at the Shops of Tryon parking lot as the Do Not Lose Hope movement continues for the second year in a row, with volunteers serving hotdogs, hamburgers, slaw, chili and vegetarian options from 5-7 p.m.

Organizer Mary Prioleau said the movement continues to remind people they should never feel alone and that this community cares. The Do Not Lose Hope event will also give away 80 free long-sleeved T-shirts.

Prioleau began the movement after her daughter, Caroline, died by suicide. Her daughter’s last words she typed on a Facebook post were “Do Not Lose Hope.”

“I am so honored to proceed with Caroline’s last words,” Prioleau said. “Polk Fit Fresh and Friendly, the town of Tryon, the Thermal Belt Friendship Council and Polk County Community Foundation, alongside of so many incredible folks joining in and keeping her message alive, warms my heart. Although I severely regret being in this position, this, to me, is what the Christmas season should be about.”

Polk County is the second highest in North Carolina for suicides and is almost twice the national statistics.

Prioleau said there are 22 veterans lost daily to suicide across the nation.

This is the second year for the free food at Tryon’s parade and the fourth for a walk and remembrance held at Harmon Field in the fall for suicide awareness and prevention.

During the Do Not Lose Hope food event, local artist Martin will also give away more than 50 paintings to people in attendance.

Brad Whitney and friends will cook the hotdogs and hamburgers.

The town of Tryon, Tryon Downtown Development Association and Thermal Belt Friendship Council are providing the food for the event.

The town’s annual Christmas parade normally starts at dark after 5 p.m. Lineup is in the Godshaw Hill neighborhood, with the parade ending at the Tryon Fire Department.