Though the annual Hatteras Village Christmas Parade was delayed by a day due to wet and rainy weather, it had no effect on the crowds and the community spirit that was abundant in Hatteras Village on Sunday afternoon.
Locals and visitors lined the sides of N.C. Highway 12 from the southern end of Hatteras to the Hatterasman Drive-in, and the anticipation grew as the parade inched closer to its roughly 2 p.m. starting time.
At the sound of every distant fire truck siren, cries of “They’re coming!” could be heard from the youngest spectators, who were holding receptacles of all varieties to catch candy thrown from the line of floats. From Halloween-themed pumpkin pails, to optimistically large ACE Hardware buckets, young attendees were ready to view the show, and hopefully, score some treats from the ensuing procession.
Luckily, there was more than enough holiday spirit – and candy – to go around.
The parade began with a decorated police motorcycle, followed by the signature Conner’s Supermarket vintage car, and the first float of the afternoon – a Lego-themed addition from Outer Banks Family Medicine in Avon.
Next came the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department, a lime green Daytona pace car, and the towering Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative truck, followed by the Girl Scouts in a giant Radio Flyer wagon-themed float.
Festive walking trees from the Fessenden Center and the Frisco VFD truck followed, along with a Grinch-themed float from Midgett Realty, complete with an overstuffed and giant bag of “stolen” presents, which was helmed by the Grinch himself.
Next in line was a giant shark wishing all the spectators a “Great White Christmas,” followed by the Avon VFD and the National Park Service with a walking lighthouse, turtle, and superintendent David Hallac carrying a fishing pole.
As music from the Beach Boys drifted into the air, the Surf or Sound Realty beach-themed float cruised by, with surfboards and participants dressed in their best beachy attire.
The Chicamacomico VFD also cruised along the route, followed by a bright red golf cart and the Munchkin Academy’s sleigh, which was sponsored by Cape Construction. A half-dozen or so horses marched behind, and the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad made an appearance before Santa came riding down N.C. Highway 12 on a Hatteras VFD fire truck.
Throughout the afternoon, local stores and organizations like the Blue Pelican Gallery, the CHSS Volleyball Team, and Lee Robinson’s General Store provided tempting food and/or prime viewing spots for spectators.
And after the parade was over, there seemed to be mass agreement among the crowd that the judges had their work cut out for them.
Judges Cassie Gray, Rachel Bibbey and Alana Harrison presided over the procession from their traditional perch on the judges’ platform made out of a boat, and agreed that the determination of this year’s winners was not clear-cut.
“It’s a very hard decision,” said Harrison. “There are a lot of great floats this year.”
They did note that they had a great viewing spot for the parade, and that their position as judges may have resulted in a lot of swag and candy that was thrown to their platform from passing floats. “It’s not a bad life at all,” said Gray.
In the end, first place for best float went to the Lego-themed Outer Banks Family Medicine float, second place went to the Girl Scouts and their Radio Flyer wagon, and third place went to Mr. Grinch and the Midgett Realty team.
With chilly temperatures but plenty of sunshine, this year’s well-attended parade was certainly a hit with everyone who ventured out to the center of Hatteras village. Even the Grinch appeared to be smiling throughout the parade, and just maybe, his heart grew three sizes that day.
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