Holly Hill Mayor William Randolph Johnson has been tapped to serve as the grand marshal of the 2017 Holly Hill Christmas Festival Parade.

The parade is scheduled to get under way at 11 a.m. this Saturday, Dec. 2.

Organizers say Johnson was selected for the honor because of his accomplishments as mayor, noting that under his leadership, Holly Hill has:

  • Established a good working relationship with county, state and federal officials
  • Maintained affordable utility rates
  • Improved parks and recreation facilities
  • Upgraded infrastructure
  • Secured grants for four police vehicles
  • Secured a grant for the streetscape between Holly and Pine streets
  • Improved law enforcement
  • Moved town government into the state-of-the-art municipal complex
  • Provided office space for the mayor at Holly Hill Town Hall
  • Continued to improve the Holly Hill Christmas Festival, now one of the best in the area
  • Demonstrated a pro-business/industry environment

Johnson, who was born on Feb. 12, 1951 in Louisville, Mississippi to Mamie Johnson and the late Everette Johnson Sr., has lived in Holly Hill for the past 20 years.

He and his wife, Linda Holmes Johnson, have two children, Byron and Coretta and two grandchildren, Amir and Brandon.

Johnson graduated from Camile Street High School in Louisville, Mississippi in 1969. He went on to obtain his bachelor's degree in agriculture education from Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi. He is a graduate of the South Carolina Municipal Elected Officials Advanced Institute of Government and the South Carolina Economic Development Institute.

Johnson was employed at Holcim Cement Company for 36 years, beginning his career in Mississippi and working for 12 years in Holly Hill before his retirement in July 2009. During his career with Holcim, he was a production supervisor, quality control chemist, procurement manager and production coordinator.

Johnson was first elected Holly Hill mayor on Nov. 3, 2009, winning re-election to that post on Nov. 5, 2013 and again on Nov. 7 of this year.

He serves as a deacon of Lovely Hill Baptist Church in Holly Hill and is a board member of the Tri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Johnson is a Lifetime Member of the NAACP. In addition, he serves on the board of the Orangeburg County Development Commission; is an executive board member and secretary of the African American Association; serves on the board of the One Orangeburg County Initiative; is a member of the Holly Hill Elementary School Improvement Council; is a member of the Lake Marion High School Career and Technology Advisory Board; serves as chairman of the town of Holly Hill's My Brothers' Keepers Initiative; and is a member of the Lake Marion Water Agency and the South Carolina Association of Mayors.

He is a past board member of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, past member of the Medical University of South Carolina Board of Visitors, past president of the South Carolina Conference of Black Mayors and past board member of the South Carolina Municipal Association.

This year's Holly Hill Christmas Festival will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, with lots of activities planned for the entire family. To learn more about the event, visit hollyhillchristmasfestival.com

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