December 12, 2011

Christmas 2011 on Ocracoke:


Ocracoke kicked off the holiday season Dec. 7 at the Ocracoke Preservation Society’s annual lighting of the community Christmas tree.

A bit of wind and rain did not stop the more than 50 folks who attended the society’s annual wassail party. 

Deanna Locke, society administrator, and Bill Jones, society president, led the singing of “O Christmas Tree,” as the lights sprang forth.

At other locations throughout the island, Rudy and Pat Austin and Chester Lynn have decorated public buildings with garlands and wreaths.

Among those buildings decorated, in addition to the OPS Museum, are the Community Center, the Fish House, the Ocracoke Health Center, the United Methodist and Assembly of God churches and the Ocracoke Lighthouse.

The Ocracoke Civic and Business Association pays for the garlands and wreaths, Austin said. Tommy Hutcherson of the Ocracoke Variety Store obtains the trees and delivers them to the churches and the OPS.

“We want to keep the community looking good,” Austin said.  Decoration of the lighthouse is still pending, awaiting approval from the National Park Service, which oversees the lighthouse.

The community joined together Dec. 8 for a holiday concert, organized by Sundae Horn, in the Community Center.

This is the fourth year Horn has organized this free evening, including a bake sale whose proceeds helped fund the purchase of more books for new middle school language arts teacher Shay Youell. 

The Ocracoke Friends of the Library also helped match up to $200 of what Youell raised from the sale of young adult books at the concert, Horn said.

“I think he raised $250. So we will add that,” Horn said.

Among the performers were children of the Ocracoke Child Care Center, the Daisy Girl Scout Troop, Crystal Halkomb, Ali Arter, Susan Stuck, Noah Paley, Jamie Tunnell Carter, Jennifer Rich, Katie Wharton, Gary and Kitty Mitchell, Dave Tweedie, Lou Castro, Leslie Gilbert, Rob and Emmett Temple, Bill Jones, Jubal Creech, Ivey, Laura and Hannah Belch, Horn herself and members of the Ocracoke Jazz Society.

Gary Mitchell provided sound for the evening.

The streets of the village are beginning to look a lot like Christmas as residents set out their decorations and prepare for their traditional holiday celebration.

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