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City of Greenville - Featured News

Posted on: November 26, 2021

Pearlie Harris to Lead Poinsettia Christmas Parade

Pearlie Harris, standing in front of the mural created in her honor

The Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade is back! And the City of Greenville is are thrilled to announce Pearlie Harris will serve as our Grand Marshal. 

The native of Saluda, NC, and longtime Greenville resident is the namesake of the Bon Secours St. Francis Health System Breast Health Center. Last summer, her legacy as an educator was commemorated in a larger-than-life mural on an eight-story building downtown. The mural at 301 College Avenue, commissioned by the Charleston based real estate firm The Beach Company, represents the power of education in molding young minds and teaching inclusivity through togetherness. “The idea is I’m standing over Greenville and the hundreds of thousands of people who come into Greenville every day. We hope it’s saying something to those people about diversity and about love – love for one another, love for children and love for the community,” Pearlie shared with Bon Secours in February. 

Harris spent 37 years in the classroom. “As a teacher during integration, I was that black teacher – the one parents would openly talk about. They’d say they never thought they’d have someone like me in their school, so I promised myself it was going to be one of the best years I’d ever taught just to prove a point,” Harris said. 

Harris will lead the parade down Main on Saturday, December 4 beginning at 6 p.m. For more than 75 years, the parade has signaled the start of the Christmas season in Greenville. Each year the parade attracts thousands of visitors downtown to view the holiday floats and activities. 

Read more about Harris’ childhood, teaching career and partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System to fight breast cancer.
Read more about the mural

See you at the parade: Saturday, December 4, at 6 p.m.

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