Despite concerns about rainy weather that lingered all morning long, the 2019 Hatteras Village Christmas Parade attracted a large crowd and roughly 25 participants on Saturday afternoon in a festive procession that began and ended with the Holiday Open House at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.
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. Skies cleared by the time the parade was in full swing, and while the unseasonably warm temperatures were out of place for mid-December, there was more than enough holiday spirit – and candy – to go around.
The parade began with a police escort headed by Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie, followed by the signature Conner’s Supermarket vintage car, and the joyful music of the Cape Hatteras High School Marching Band, which set the tone for the rest of the procession.
Next came the Dare County Dancers, the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, and the Fair Haven United Methodist Church with Pastor Tim Fitch and volunteers tossing candy from the back of a festively decorated boat.
The Under Pressure Dive Boat was next in line, with a school of fish following a decked-out scuba diver guarding a treasure chest. The Frisco Volunteer Fire Station was next, followed by the lighthouses, sea turtles, and rangers of the National Park Service, and the Avon Volunteer Fire Department added a little more water to the scene by shooting streams of water in between the crowds. The Chicamacomico Volunteer Fire Department was close behind, followed by the cheerful elves of the Hatteras Island Girl Scouts in a candy cane-infused float.
The Cape Hatteras Secondary School Baseball Team cruised along the parade route, followed by the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative’s truck, a bright Blue Whale appropriately from the Blue Whale store in Salvo, and the Hatteras Island CERT Team.
The Froggy Dog Restaurant brought extra smiles to the crowd with North Pole float that had Santa stuck in the chimney, while the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department, and a host of festive horses and golf carts, (including one ridden by the Grinch himself), kept the grins going towards the end of the parade. The parade ended with an appearance by the United States Coast Guard, and the traditional grand finale Hatteras Volunteer Fire Department truck, where a sunglasses-wearing Santa waved to the crowd.
The parade cumulated back at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, where winners were announced for 2019.
The Froggy Dog Restaurant scored the grand prize for best float of the year. Second place went to the Under Pressure Dive Boat, while third place went to the Hatteras Island Girl Scouts. Linda Sue of Hatteras Winds won the Golf Cart Category, and the CHSS Marching Band received an honorable mention for inspiring the crowd from start to finish.
With a soggy parade route but plenty of sunshine by the time the parade wrapped up, this year’s well-attended parade was certainly a hit with everyone who ventured out to the center of Hatteras village.