Hatteras village was brimming with patriotism on the 4th of July, thanks to the 7th annual Golf Cart Parade which cruised along N.C. Highway 12 in a blaze of red, white, and blue.
The parade, which began in 2013 as a fundraiser for the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, has grown over the years, and has attracted many repeat local and visitor entries along the way. Though both decorated and unadorned carts are welcome to participate in the parade, virtually all of the roughly 40 entries in this 2019’s event were decked out for the holiday.
The entries were a mix of locals, repeat visitors, and first-timers, and it was clear that everyone brought their A-game – and a boatload of spirit – to the festivities.
There were many stand-outs that turned the heads of spectators along N.C. Highway 12, and 2019 featured a distinctive abundance of creativity.
The Rawls family utilized a number of beach supplies to transform their golf cart into a pirate ship, which included a gold Styrofoam cooler pirate’s chest and black cannons made out of Solo cups. “We did all of this today,” they said.
The Holloman family from North Carolina paid tribute to a friend who passed away 15 years ago and who loved Hatteras Island with inflatable chickens topping their carts, affectionately named “Chicken Larry.”
“He came to the beach with us every year, and earned the nickname ‘Chicken Larry’ along the way,” said family member Kathy Driver, noting that the moniker stemmed from a love of barbecued chicken.
“Our [Hatteras vacations] started as a father-son fishing trip in 1975, and grew as the generations grew,” said Randy Driver of the large N.C. group that included grandparents, kids, grandkids, and a costumed dinosaur. “We love it here – this place is special.”
Hatteras village teachers Kristina and Laurie used leftover carpet rolls to create red, white, and blue palm trees, while massive flamingos, crabs, and even a shark with an Uncle Sam hat were spotted atop carts in the procession. One family used leftover plastic garbage affixed to a painted coastal landscape to create a message of “Don’t be trashy” and clean up the beaches, and several groups brought along candy, beads, and other goodies to toss to the spectators who set up beach chairs along the highway to enjoy the show.
Though the parade cruised quickly along N.C. Highway 12 on its route from Teach’s Lair Marina to Eagle Pass Road, spectators along the roadside had plenty to cheer about, with music blaring, shiny streamers glittering in the sun, and plenty of creativity throughout.
Lasting just 20 minutes or so at most, many longtime spectators nevertheless attested that the 2019 parade was easily one of the best ones to date.
“It keeps growing every year,” said one onlooker who had attended the parade for four years running, “but this may be the biggest and best ever.”
Golf Cart Parade Winners:
Most Humorous: Holloman, Chicken Larry
Most Patriotic: Honeycutt
Most Creative: Rawls, Pirate Ship