Though the 30th Annual Hatteras Village Christmas Parade was delayed by a day due to soggy weather, the postponement and Sunday afternoon’s big temperature drop did not prevent crowds from lining the sides of N.C. Highway 12 to celebrate the unofficial start of the holiday season.
And, like always, the parade did not disappoint the hundreds of onlookers, with attendees commenting that the event had one of the most creative and unique collections of floats and participants in recent memory.
The parade was canceled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but 2021 had a hefty line-up of more than 30 entries, which included local businesses and organizations, the villages’ fire departments, and local groups who all brought something special to the festivities.
The parade kicked off with the signature Conner’s Supermarket vintage car, followed by Dare County Commissioner Danny Couch and the Cape Hatteras Secondary School Marching Band, which set a festive tone for the procession that followed.
The National Park Service was next with their signature lighthouse costumes and ranger-hat-topped golf cart, followed by the first float of the day, the Fessenden’s Center homage to Pac-Man. The Breez-Thru team made an appearance in a festive pick-up truck, and the Hatteras Trailer Trash folks got big laughs for their big mullets, and an unlucky reindeer tied to the front of their truck.
The Blue Whale crew and the Frisco Fire Department followed while The Froggy Dog/Muffins and Scones team wowed the crowd with a gingerbread float and homemade cookies for lucky parade-goers. The Purl family made a bright appearance in a festive golf cart, followed by Midgett Realty and the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department. A bright orange vintage car and a handful of decked-out golf carts cruised along the route, followed by the Avon Volunteer Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, all with big trucks that were decorated for the holidays.
The Chicamacomico Banks VFD had help passing out candy from Buddy the elf, while the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation cruised by with a pick-up full of presents.
Rudolf and his team, (including Yukon Cornelius), also paid a visit to Hatteras village on Parade Day, courtesy of Under Pressure Charters, and the Equine Adventures folks brought both a horse and a donkey to the celebration.
The parade ended – as it traditionally does – with Santa Claus waving to the crowd from the back of the Hatteras Village Volunteer Fire Department truck, and the big guy arguably got the most cheers from the youngest members of the crowd.
Though the parade took just under 20 minutes from start to finish, bystanders agreed that the event was one of the most entertaining in years, and easily made up for the missed parade in 2020.
Rarely do you have events where Yukon Cornelius, mullet-donning trailer trash, a donkey, Buddy the Elf, and Pac-Man all show up to entertain a crowd, but the creativity of the island was on full display on Sunday, proving that the 30-year-old tradition is still going strong.
2021 Parade Winners:
1st Place: Froggy Dog
2nd Place: CHSS Marching Band
3rd Place: Fessenden Center
Best Golf Cart: Golf Cart – Ryan Oden