Christmas in Bluffton: A Celebration of Community
The fifty-first Bluffton Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade was a celebration of all that is good about Bluffton. An article from Only in Your State, hit the internet the day of the tree lighting and said Bluffton was “much like Hallmark Christmas movies,” and scenes from Bluffton were “Rockwellesque.” Town leaders and staff are super proud of our first weekend in December each year when we convert a few of our parks into a winter wonderland.
I just wanted to take a moment and thank all the residents for coming out and making this weekend a celebration of community. You are the reason why this town is so special. I also wanted to spotlight some folks who really made this year’s celebration meaningful.
The Parade’s Grand Marshal was Ruth Joiner Brown. She is the “person who you didn’t know you already knew.” She can be seen from May River Road, nurturing her garden or sweeping her sidewalk. She lives in the house her mother owned and has lived many chapters of her life in Bluffton as she witnessed the many chapters Bluffton has also experienced.
A lifelong educator, Ruth Brown taught and counseled at-risk students in New York before returning to Bluffton and helping her family maintain “Cordray’s Concoction,” an ice cream and sweets shop by day and a venue for social gatherings at night.
This year’s judges were Sharon Brown, Carol Pringle, and Dan Ciuffreda. Sharon Brown, known as “Community Sister,” is the organizer of an annual “Back to School Fun Day,” on which more than 500 backpacks, full of supplies, are donated to students. This event, in its thirteenth year, also showcases children’s organizations and services that families can involve themselves in during the school year. Carol Pringle is a lifelong Blufftonian, small business owner, teacher for three decades and a community contributor with a focus on historic preservation. Dan Ciuffreda is the president of the Rotary Club of Bluffton and is involved in several park projects and festivals in that role.
Together, they chose the parade winners. Battery Creek High School Marching Band won “Best Performance” for its third time. The American Legion Post 205 won “Best Float,” and Hidden Treasures, a Bluffton golf cart tour company, won the “State of Mind” award.
Thank you to all our partners, staff and everyone who contributes to these events that make our town such a wonderful community.
Happy New Year!