The Havelock Christmas Parade will have a popular teacher at the front as grand marshal.
Diane Lewis, a Havelock Middle School athletic director and physical education teacher, was named grand marshal last week.
"I’ll probably just be waving my hand and saying thank you for giving me this opportunity to represent you and Havelock," Lewis said Monday.
The parade is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday on East Main Street, starting at Shepard Street and going to Cunningham Boulevard.
Lewis said she was shocked but excited to learn she had been named to the honorary position.
"It is an honor to be representing Havelock for anything. It’s pretty nice. I have very few words," Lewis said. "I was surprised. I was just asked to show up to the dinner and I showed up and that’s what I got, so I was really happy about it."
Lewis grew up in New Jersey but graduated from Havelock High School and has been around the area ever since.
"I’ve been through generations of kids, parents, and teaching their kids," she said. "By me playing sports myself in high school and college and everything else, I guess I just set an example for the kids that they can do whatever they want to do."
The veteran educator complimented her "great staff, great kids, great community."
"They always support me in everything, so I’m just glad to be here," she said. "I just want to thank whoever nominated me and I just hope that I can do my best to represent Havelock as their grand marshal."
The parade will feature about 80 entries, including 19 floats, and include the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, the Havelock Community Band and the Havelock High marching band. Havelock High’s state championship football team will also be featured in the parade.
The guest of honor will be Santa Claus.
Five fire departments will be part of the parade, which will also feature a variety of local dignitaries, youth groups and civic organizations.
All floats should be lined up by 1:30 p.m. for judging, with the top three receiving awards. Youth groups should gather at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church.
As part of the parade, both eastbound and westbound lanes of East Main Street will be closed starting at 1:45 p.m. Detours will be McCotter Boulevard and Fontana Boulevard.
Officials are asking residents not to stand on the median during the parade, as trees and shrubs have just been planted.