Back In The Day
Fort Mill durning December always means the tree lighting, rows of lights across Main Street and the Christmas Parade. But do you know how some of these amazing traditions started?
Largely as a result of the fundraising efforts of Mayor Luther G. Patterson and the local Lions Club, Christmas lights were strung on Main Street for the first time in 1937.
The origins of Fort Mill’s Christmas parade dates back to a time before the lights, when the old post office atop the hill on Main Street was still a livery stable. Local merchant Cliff McElhaney, who had a belly to rival Santa, decided our town should have a parade and solicited the support of various Main Street merchants. He then got himself a Santa suit, a half a bushel of Hershey’s kisses, went into the livery stable and came out in a mule-drawn wagon.
He drove the wagon down Main Street with his basket of candy beside him yelling “Merry Christmas!” while throwing kisses to the children. From then on, the parade has grown bigger and bigger and has been celebrated every year since, except for 1948.