Pastor Scott Ireland, of the Stallings United Methodist Church, and his wife, Patti, will lead Indian Trail’s annual Christmas parade as grand marshal on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Ireland has been the pastor of Stallings United Methodist Church for the past nine years and has spent the last 25 years in ministry. The Indian Trail Town Council selected Ireland to serve as grand marshal because of his dedication to his church and community, particularly his leadership of the annual Back2School Bash.
The Back2School Bash, which is heading into its eighth year, provides 1,500 children in Union County each year with school supplies, backpacks, a new pair of shoes, purchased from Samaritan's Feet, and free eye exams through the Indian Trail Lions Club. Ireland said the most memorable part of the Back2School Bash is when they wash the children’s feet, as that physical connection can help plant a seed of hope.
Ireland initially proposed the idea after seeing a similar event in Mooresville with the goal of finding a way to collaborate with other churches to do something in the community. For the first two years, the event was held at Extreme Ice Center and has since been held at Carolina Courts in Indian Trail. The event is supported by business sponsors and donations from the community.
In addition to its work with the Back2School Bash, Stallings United Methodist Church also works closely with Common Heart and holds a monthly food drive that generates enough food to fill at least two pick-up truck beds. The Church also hopes to restart its Shepard’s Table program in the future, which provides anyone who wants one with a hot meal in the fellowship hall. The program was put on hold because of COVID.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected as grand marshal for this year’s Christmas parade,” Ireland said. “It gives me the chance to highlight the amazing people, churches, businesses and organizations that I have the privilege to work with to make the Back2School Bash and our other ministries so successful. We get so much more done when we come together for a common good. There are so many energetic and innovative leaders in our community who have been called to give back. Without them, none of it would be possible, and I am blessed to be a small part of it.”
Ireland will kick off the Christmas parade at 4 p.m. starting at Post Office Drive. Floats will head down Indian Trail Road, turning right onto Matthews-Indian Trail Road before wrapping around Chestnut Square Park. There will be plenty of spots along the route to watch the parade.
“The Christmas parade is the perfect way to start the holidays, with so many seasonal and family-friendly activities available in one place,” said Hayden Kramer, Indian Trail’s Parks and Recreation director. “Santa has told us this is one of his favorite events, and this year is shaping up to be the best one yet. Thank you to Pastor Ireland for leading the parade as grand marshal.”
Numerous festivities will be held at Chestnut Square Park following the parade, including s’mores and hot chocolate with Santa and Mrs. Claus, free crafts, games, and more.
The night will be capped off with the official Indian Trail Christmas Tree Lighting. All are invited to attend, take part in the festivities and welcome in the holiday season.
To learn more about the Back2School Bash, visit https://unioncountyb2sb.org/.