The parade kicked off, as it traditionally does, with a Dare County Sheriff’s escort and the Conner’s Supermarket Willys Jeep, followed by the Cape Hatteras Secondary School Band, who set a festive tone for the procession to follow.
The Grinch made an appearance in his golf cart, followed by the Girl Scouts, who were visiting from the Island of Misfit Toys. Another Grinch surrounded by books cruised by shortly thereafter, courtesy of the Dare County Libraries, followed by the “Survivor Sisters” who brought a big dose of bright pink to the parade, complete with a pink-infused golf cart and rosy Santa hats.
Cape Hatteras Electric Company wowed the crowd with buckets of candy, while the CHSS Baseball team showed their community spirit by announcing their $1,810 donation to the local Hatteras Island Angel Gift program.
The Hatteras Village Christmas Parade wouldn’t be complete without a few coastal tie-ins, and Midgett Realty and The Blue Whale provided a little local flavor with a wave of marching sharks, and an appropriate big blue whale swimming through the village. The Fessenden Center put on a bouncing good show with brightly colored inflatable costumes, and the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation also picked up on the circular theme, with a giant gumball machine filled with colorful balloons. Kyle’s Munchkin Academy was also decked out in candy colors, while the U.S. Coast Guard brightened the streets with strings of lights, and a trumpet and accordion player providing holiday tunes.
All island fire departments also made an appearance with lights blazing and sirens blaring – including the Chicamacomico Banks Fire Department, the Avon Fire Department, the Buxton Fire Department, and the Frisco Fire Department – and the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, CERT Team, and St. John’s Methodist Church also joined in the joyful procession. The National Park Service stood out this year, thanks to an appearance by all three Cape Hatteras National Seashore lighthouses, a local sea turtle, an intricate and wearable Wright Flyer, and a golf cart topped with a giant ranger hat.
The Hatteras Volunteer Fire Department finished the parade, with a much-anticipated appearance by Santa Claus riding atop the final fire truck.
Before and after the parade, spectators also had ample opportunities to warm up and keep the festivities going at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, where a wealth of activities and holiday cheer lingered throughout the afternoon.
Live music played in the main foyer area, while visitors were treated to plates of cookies, hot chili, and homemade lentil soup. Kids had a ball at the museum as well, thanks to activity stations with ornament making, cookie decorating, and face painting by the Frisco Native American Museum, while two outside bounce houses allowed younger visitors to burn off a little of that candy-infused energy.
The winners of the parade were also announced at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, with the National Park Service scoring the coveted top prize. Park Superintendent David Hallac immediately returned the $500 first prize, requesting that it be donated to the newly launched Outer Banks Forever nonprofit organization, which supports the local park.
“We put some work into it this year, but we are genuinely surprised, and it is a great honor to win first place,” said Hallac.
With chilly temperatures but plenty of cheer and hot cocoa to go around, this year’s well-attended parade was certainly a hit with everyone who ventured out to the center of Hatteras village. Even the two Grinches seemed to be smiling throughout the route, as islanders forgot about the upcoming storm for a moment, and enjoyed an afternoon of celebrating the season.
2018 Hatteras Village Christmas Parade Winners: