While Hope Mills has been growing like nobody’s business, they’ve still got small town charm. On Saturday, Dec. 4, an entire day of activities has been planned for the community.

The fun starts with breakfast with Santa from 8:30 - 11 a.m. He’ll be at the Hope Mills Recreation Center at 5766 Rockfi sh Rd. ready to share his morning with all the good little boys and girls out there.

“We’ll be serving pancakes and the kids will have a choice between sausage or bacon and we’ll also have orange juice,” said Kenny Bullock event coordinator. “And the kids will have a chance to talk with Santa and spend some time with him.”

Limited space means that preregistration is required, but the $5 fee is payable at the door. Be sure to register by Nov. 29, by calling 424- 4500 In the spirit of the season the recreation center is requesting donations of canned and nonperishable foods to benefi t the Lam’s House in Hope Mills.

Later in the day, at 3 p.m. is the Hope Mills Christmas parade. It starts at the Hope Mills Recreation Center and will end at Hope Mills Middle School.

“We’ve got the traditional beauty queens who will be riding in the parade, and several school bands including Southview and Jack Britt among some other — we are hoping to include E.E. Smith High School too,” said Bullock. “One of our most interesting parade entries so far is First Baptist Church. They are going to bring shopping carts and walk with them in the parade to collect canned goods which will be given to the Alms House. We are encouraging anyone who comes to the parade to bring a canned good or nonperishable food item. It is the season of giving after all and like I was taught when I was a young boy, it really is better to give than to receive.”

Items collected will be distributed to families in need and used to feed the local homeless population.

Rounding out the day of festivities and good will is the 35th Annual Festival of Lights at Hope Mills Lake Park on Main Street. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and promises to be a fun evening of Christmas music, fellowship and memory making. There will be hay rides, the lighting of the town Christmas Tree, the town star and the yule log.

“We’ll be handing out cookies and hot chocolate while supplies last,” said Bullock. “And Santa and Mrs. Clause will be coming to make their rounds and they’ll be handing out cookies to the children. The little ones will have a chance to make their Christmas wishes known to Santa that evening too. It will be a really enjoyable event.”

For more information about any of these events please call 424-4500 or 426-4107.

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