Hatteras Village Christmas Parade was well worth the wait…WITH SLIDE SHOW
By JORDAN TOMBERLIN
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
all agreed that judging was far more difficult than decorating a float
and lauded this year’s crop of participants for the humor, creativity,
Rumors that they might be coming out of retirement immediately began to swirl, though they remain unconfirmed.
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
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
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.
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
And, not to be outdone by their adult counterparts, they decided to donate their winnings to Hatteras Island Meals.
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.