On the afternoon of October 31, unsuspecting bystanders were surprised to see a line of miniature pirates, superheroes, princesses and monsters slowly strolling down N.C. Highway 12.
The procession was part of Hatteras Community Preschool’s annual Halloween Parade, which is a tradition that has been going strong since the school first opened its doors in 1993.
During the parade, the young participants head to the Midgett Realty office building and back, stopping by Hatteras landmarks along the way, (like Village Red and White, the library, the post office, the bank, and A.S. Austin Company), to make a much-appreciated appearance, and more importantly, to pick up candy from local business owners and residents.
“Once they realize they are getting candy along the way, they really enjoy it,” says pre-school director Lesley Hickman.
But they earn their sugary haul, as the event and the procession of roughly 25 costumed kids is something that Hatteras business owners and residents look forward to every year. “I think they may even enjoy it more than the kids do,” says Hickman.
Traditionally, safety steps including having the parents along, staying on one side of the road, and having everyone hold onto a rope are taken to ensure the parade is safe from start to finish.
But this year, the kids had an extra escort to guard the parade route, courtesy of eight members of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, who not only created a movable barrier along the road, but who also brought along candy for the kids.
The parade lasted just 30 minutes or so – quite an accomplishment considering the relatively slow pace of little feet – but was a fun afternoon celebration for all involved. “It’s a slow parade, for sure,” says Hickman, “but everyone – kids, parents, and the local businesses – always enjoy it.”