City selects Nancy Whitworth as Parade Grand Marshal

The sights and sounds of the holiday season will once again fill the streets of downtown when 75 parade units join the City of Greenville for the annual Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade tomorrow at 6 p.m. Longtime City of Greenville Economic Development Director Nancy Whitworth, who will retire in January after 40 years of service to the Greenville community, will serve as grand marshal.

Nancy honed her exceptional leadership skills at the helm of several significant economic development projects impacting the city, county and state, including the West End Market, the Peace Center, RiverPlace, Fluor Field, Falls Park, McBee Station, Verdae, the recruitment of Southwest Airlines, Lab21, Proterra and more. Under her leadership, Main Street has set the standard for communities nationwide and has earned recognition from organizations such as the International Downtown Association, the American Planning Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Urban Land Institute. More than 3,600 representatives from cities like Huntsville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Winston-Salem, Fort Wayne, Tallahassee and Colorado Springs have visited Greenville in search of Nancy’s advice and in the hopes of replicating Greenville’s success in their own communities. In 2018 alone, the City hosted representatives from 15 cities in 11 states.

Nancy’s impressive portfolio has earned her many accolades and top billing at speaking engagements across the country. Her awards and recognition include the Greenville Chamber Buck Mickel Award for exemplary vision and leadership, the March of Dimes Real Estate Award for work in economic development, the Leadership Greenville Distinguished Alumni Award, Greenville Magazine’s Business Person of the Year and the William D. Workman III Buffalo Hunter Award by the Greenville Area Development Corporation for community vision and leadership. She also received national recognition as the Novogradac Community Development Foundation 2012 Public Executive of the Year for her work making exceptional qualified low-income community investments.

“For four decades, Nancy Whitworth’s quiet leadership and steady hand have had a profound and lasting impact on the Greenville community and its citizens,” said Mayor Knox White. “Nancy’s long and varied list of successes are the direct result of her professional duty and personal desire to establish Greenville as one of the most sought-after cities in the country to live and work.”

The one-mile parade route along Main Street will stretch from North Street to Augusta Street and feature musical marching groups, elaborately decorated floats and, of course, Santa Claus. The parade is free to the public, and spectators will find ample places to view the parade, with prime seating located from the Main Street Bridge south toward Falls Park. For a complete entertainment schedule and list of all special events, visit the Holiday Happenings webpage. Follow City events on social media and use the hashtag #whatsgoingonGVL to join in the conversation.