Evoking memories of an old-fashioned Christmas, this Aurora parade float by New Haven Free Will Baptist Church promotes the theme “Times have changed, but God hasn’t.” The Aurora parade was held Sunday afternoon. To view more photos from the parade, visit www.thewashingtondailynews.com. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

Archived Story

Santa’s parade arrival unusual

Published 9:09pm Monday, December 10, 2012

AURORA — Sunday’s Christmas parade in Aurora offered spectators a magical moment no other holiday event in Beaufort County could match — Santa’s arrival by helicopter.
The jolly, old elf decided to forgo the traditional sleigh and reindeer in favor of a more modern approach. He buzzed the parade route minutes before the procession began, greeting the crowds from the air via a public-address system.
Upon landing, Santa boarded a float sponsored by PotashCorp-Aurora, and another Aurora tradition was under way.
“I think we’ve been doing the Christmas parade since 1975,” said chairwoman Gail Phelps. “It began with the Junior Women’s Club, then the Women’s Club took it over and now it is sponsored by the Aurora/Richland Township Chamber of Commerce.”
The latest in a series of local Christmas parades featured a host of special guests, including Aurora Mayor Clif Williams and other elected officials, members of the Sudan Shriners and school, church and civic groups. Also rolling along the parade route were fire and rescue units from Aurora and surrounding towns, including Blounts Creek, Chocowinity and Pantego.
Sunday turned out to be a busy day for Santa. After his spectacular arrival and parade appearance, he met with local youngsters at the community center, where the annual craft show hosted by the Aurora Rescue Squad was under way.
Beaufort County’s Christmas parade season ends Sunday when Edward Christian Church presents its third-annual event. That parade begins at 3 p.m.

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