Christmas On The Islands
December 23, 2013

Hatteras Village Christmas Parade was well
worth the wait…WITH SLIDE SHOW


By JORDAN TOMBERLIN


The Hatteras Village Christmas Parade is one of the most anticipated events of the island’s holiday season, so when it was postponed by one week this year, because of the threat of bad weather, there were concerns about decreased participation and fears that the parade might lose some of its magic.

But by 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, the shoulders of Highway 12 were packed with eager children, ready to collect the candy and prizes that would surely be tossed from the festive floats, and smiling adults, enjoying the sunny, unseasonably warm weather and soaking up the abundant holiday cheer.

It was clear that, even if it was a bit smaller, this year’s parade was going to be just as fun and charming as ever.

In the end, there were 25 floats in the parade, with only five participants having to drop out—the First Flight and Manteo High marching bands, Spa Koru, Munchkin Academy, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary—all owing to scheduling conflicts and prior engagements.

There were some familiar favorites—the Conner family’s vintage cars, the holiday-themed horses, the award-winning Cape Hatteras Secondary School marching band, and, of course, all the fire departments, with Santa—as always—bringing up the rear on the vintage Hatteras Village truck.

Notably absent from this year’s line-up was the perennially crowd-pleasing Dune Billy Queens. Comprised of Mary Ellon Ballance, Nicole Jennette, and Chris Ballance, the Dune Billy Queens had won the prize for most comical or most creative several years in a row.

After announcing their retirement from the parade with last year’s “Miami or Bust” float, the Queens were conscripted by Hatteras Village Civic Association president Dennis Robinson to judge this year’s event.

They all agreed that judging was far more difficult than decorating a float and lauded this year’s crop of participants for the humor, creativity, community spirit.

Rumors that they might be coming out of retirement immediately began to swirl, though they remain unconfirmed.

After the parade, participants, onlookers, and judges headed over to the Hatteras Village Community Center, where they noshed on hot dogs, homemade goodies, and hot chocolate while they awaited the announcement of this year’s winners.

When everything was tabulated, the Dune Billy Queens announced their picks.
The award for Most Community Spirit went to the Hatteras Island Community Fellowship church for their “Hooked on Jesus” float, and the prize for Most Comical went to Friends of Felines for their paw-print ponchos and cat-like costumes.

The award for Most Creative went to Midgett Realty, for their sandy, “winter wonderland” tableau—including glittery “sandmen,” a driftwood Christmas tree, and a coal-filled stocking for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

They were all awarded $250 prizes, and carrying on the tradition of community support set by past winners, Midgett Realty donated their money to one of the island’s charitable or non-profit organizations. This year, it went to the Hatteras Island Food Pantry.

The judges also gave out a special prize this year--$50 to the single most comical participant in the parade. The award went to 83-year-old Lula Mangold of Hatteras village, who decorated her electric mobility device like a chuckwagon and cruised behind the Fessenden Center float, dragging two frying pans.

And, of course, $50 prizes were given out to the youngsters who won for Most Creative and Most Community Spirit. This year, the winners for Most Community Spirit were the Cape Hatteras Secondary School middle school cheerleaders.

The award for Most Creative went to Colin Midgett, Clara and Alice Oden, and Rennie and Cate Parker.

When their original plan for a Duck Dynasty-themed float was foiled by A&E stars’ recent public relations troubles, the group decided to keep the camouflage, but abandon any association with the show. So, they decorated their golf cart like a duck blind and put up a “Peace, Love, and Ducks” sign—sagely opting to spread love and cheer rather than controversy.

And, not to be outdone by their adult counterparts, they decided to donate their winnings to Hatteras Island Meals.

After the awards ceremony, everyone was invited to hang out at the community building and enjoy the glorious weather, the tasty treats, and the company of friends and neighbors.

“I’d say this was well worth the wait,” Robinson said, smiling.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW
 
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