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By Grace Rogers, Mount Pleasant Recreation Special Events Assistant
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (Dec. 3, 2019) – When Gina Glover accepted her friend Hoppy’s invitation to a party before the 2008 Christmas Light Parade, she expected not much more than a good time and some holiday cheer.
What she got was a husband.
Les Orr lived one block off the parade route and every year hosted a big party beforehand. Everyone spent the day at his house, celebrating and eating shrimp and oysters until it was time to watch the fireworks and floats. That year, Les took a special interest in the girl his buddy brought. He asked Hoppy if the two of them were platonic or if he would be interfering by striking up a conversation. Hoppy told him that they were just friends and he should go for it.
After the parade, Gina took Hoppy home and then immediately returned to Les’ party, where he asked her out. They quickly became two peas in a pod, spending most of the next year fishing, shrimping, boating, hunting, and traveling all over. Les knew he wanted to ask Gina to marry him but wasn’t sure what to do to make it special.
That’s when he thought about how they met.
He called the town to ask if he could get a float in the parade. Events staff said yes so he commandeered a friend’s garage, bringing over a trailer, plywood, and paint. For the next month, Les snuck over during any spare moments and made a decorated float with a big sign that said “Gina, Marry Me”. Finding time to work on it wasn’t easy, but the day finally came and the secret had remained intact.
Les hosted his annual party, and though there were many guests, only a couple of them knew the plan. As they filtered out of the house making their way to the parade route, Les went to his friend’s garage one last time. There he met his neighbor Bob, who was going to tow the float for him. They attached a generator to power the lights, hooked the float up, and then Les went back to meet up with Gina and the rest of his crew. Bob took back streets until he reached the last block of the parade, slipping right in front of Santa’s float.
It almost failed! Gina was so mesmerized by Santa that she didn’t read the sign. She walked away, ready to get back to the party, but was interrupted by Les telling her she missed a float. So she turned around, her eyes catching the sign with her name on it. At first she didn’t fully comprehend, just stammering “Gina…Gina….I am Gina!” Then she saw Les, down on one knee with a ring, everything clicked into place, and she said yes.
Ten years and two kids later, Les and Gina are still living in Mount Pleasant and have no plans to leave. They will have a float in the parade this year for his new business, Apex Pressure Washing, so be sure to give an enthusiastic wave as they pass by you!
The 24th Annual Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m. on W. Coleman Blvd. from Live Oak Dr. to Patriots Point Rd. Visit ExperienceMountPleasant.com or the event page on facebook.com/MountPleasantRec for more information.