Raider band seeks support for Christmas parade

Donations sought to fund charter bus trip to Conway, SC

By Kevin Spradlin

Randy Stubbs, president of the Raider Band Fans, is seeking your help to increase the population of Conway, S.C., by about 64 people.

Kevin Spradlin | The Raider Marching Band participates in the Famers Day Parade in Ellerbe each year.

Kevin Spradlin |
The Raider Marching Band participates in the Famers Day Parade in Ellerbe each year.

Stubbs said Thursday the Richmond Senior High School band was asked two months ago to be a part of the town’s annual Christmas parade, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 13. Locally, parade routes range between a quarter-mile and 1-mile.

The Conway parade is a well-attended affair and is approximately 1.55 miles long through historic downtown Conway It starts at 16th Avenue and Main Street and travels down Main to 4th Avenue. The route takes a right turn onto 4th Avenue and finishes at a shopping center parking lot at Powell Street.

Alice Nelson, parade coordinator with the Conway Chamber of Commerce, said that “pretty much the entire community” in the city of more than 16,000 people “will be lined up” along the route.

“It’s a big parade,” Nelson said.

The Raider Band tentatively has the 45th spot in the lineup of more than 120 entries.

Stubbs said it’s difficult to ask students to ride in the cramped, slightly uncomfortable activity buses operated by Richmond County Schools for the two-hour drive to Conway, located just outside Myrtle Beach, and then perform at their best in the parade.

“This is a fun trip for the kids,” Stubbs said. “We went two years ago and the kids loved it.”

The cost of the charter bus from Holiday Tours is approximately $2,500, Stubbs said. The Raider Band Fans booster club will assist in covering the gap, if any, between donations and the cost.

The Dec. 13 date was originally set aside on the band’s schedule for the state championship game, but the Raiders football team was knocked out of the playoffs in a second-round game, 28-27, on Nov. 21 against Millbrook at Raider Stadium.

The band first participated in the Conway Christmas Parade in 2012.

“They thought we was a college band,” Stubbs said. “Every time we turned the corner, everybody was hollering, clapping for us. The kids enjoyed it more than anything.”

It was set to go last year, too, but the trip was canceled.

Since the start of the academic year, the Marching Raiders have performed at 13 home and away football games, four competitions, the Homecoming Parade and the Farmers Day Parade in Ellerbe. The band also is scheduled to participate in the Hamlet Christmas Parade on Dec. 11. The group’s annual banquet and holiday concert at Cole Auditorium is set for Dec. 16.

Anyone with questions should call Stubbs at 910-995-8544.

To contribute: Checks should be made payable to Raider Band Fans and mailed to:
Mike Ward, band director
Richmond Senior High School
838 US Hwy 1 North
Rockingham NC 28379

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Education, Latest Headlines

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