Scenes from a Charleston Christmas Parade

Sleepy kids

There’s nothing like a good ol’ Southern Christmas Parade to warm your heart and get you in a holiday mood.

Mind you, it’s no Macy’s Parade – no soaring balloons or rockstar celebrities. But we’ve got Beagles and Babies, Bagpipers and Belly dancers. What more could you want?

When we lived in Charleston a few years ago, our goal was to be in the heart of things. Finding an apartment just a few blocks from bustling King Street meant we could walk to everything and not miss out on anything.

The day of the parade dawned chilly – downright cold for Charleston. Finally a chance to wear those winter mittens for the first time.

The surprise lead-off to the parade was the ever-popular Beagle Club …

Curtis the Dog

Beagle Club

Curtis baying

… and their crowd-pleasing mascot Curtis, baying all the way.

Dog w cold nose

Even the dogs were trying to keep their noses warm!


The bagpipers added their distinctive drone to the baying of the beagles …


… while trying not to be totally distracted by the belly dancers gyrating in front of them.

We managed to station ourselves in front of everyone’s favorite hot dog vendor. All the kids in the neighborhood just knew him as Gee The Hot Dog Man. So when a float full of Kindergarteners passed by, one little boy recognized Gee, grinned broadly (with both front teeth missing), and shouted,

“Merry Chrithmath Mither Hot Dog Man!”



We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

20 thoughts

    1. We’ve seen all kinds of wacky Christmas parades, Sue. When we lived in small-town Virginia, the headliners of the Yuletide Parade were pot-bellied pigs and the town’s (new) garbage trucks with Santa aboard. Yikes! The Charleston parade was a blast! ~Terri

    1. Great question Andrea! There were definitely some goosebumps to be seen, but the women were really into their craft, so they kept the crowd entertained. Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂 ~Terri

  1. Peath, Hot Dogth, and Belly Dancerth… Charleston certainly knows how to put the interesting in Christmas! Thanks for sharing this. It’s good to know a tourist destination can still be down home friendly and share their joy with everyone.

    We just had the Scottish Walk up here in Alexandria, VA. Alas, no beagles or belly dancers… but fun all the same.

    Thith wath delightful, Terri (and James!)

    1. Many thanks, Jonelle. The little boy was too hilarious. And of course everyone in the crowd close to the Hot Dog Man took up the chant. I just love seeing a grown man blush! 🙂 Very thweet!

      I just googled the Scottish Walk and it looks wonderful. I was in marching band in high school – we were the scotties, complete with kilts, sporrans and bagpipes – so I love the whole tradition. ~Terri

      1. Aw, how cool would that be? My father was a Stuart, who married a Stewart, who was the daughter of a McDonald. I should have gone there!

        Interesting to see the Irish who cross over for the Walk, and the Scots who become Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. A friendly pint smooths all apparently. (smile).

    1. And belated greetings to you too, Tricia! Curtis was quite the ham and couldn’t decide if he wanted to bay or bury his nose in his Christmas stocking. Mostly he bayed! 🙂 ~Terri

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