For the childrenPublished 7:11pm Friday, November 29, 2013
Santa Claus will be competing with the Gingerbread Man for the hearts — and attention — of those who attend the Belhaven Christmas Festival on Saturday.
Starting at 9 a.m., the holiday sweetie will be at Town Park next to the Belhaven Senior Center, having photographs taken with anyone who stops by.
Santa will also attend the festival. He is expected to arrive just in time for the parade and listen to children’s Christmas wishes from noon to 3 p.m. on Pamlico Street.
The parade is slated to start at 11 a.m. It begins on Main Street at Railroad Street and follows Main Street to Edward Street, then Pungo Street and back to Pamlico Street (north), ending on Pantego Street.
While Santa is making his list and checking it twice, the Christmas Festival will get into full gear.
Lee Ann Greene, a festival volunteer, said a growing festival committee meant the festival grew as well.
“This is the third one. It just seems to improve each year,” she said.
Children will have opportunities to experience a wagon ride and a bucking train. There will be ping-pong ball toss and beanbag toss.
Greene said she loves to watch children make ornaments. The ornaments are pine cones painted green to look like little Christmas trees. The children add glitter and decorations to their little trees.
“And you should see their little faces while they do it,” Greene said.
Children will also have an opportunity to make reindeer food.
“Everything is free for the children,” Greene said. “It’s all free, and it’s designed around children, not really designed around grownups.”
Adults have not been left completely out of the schedule of fun. Greene said an arts and crafts show would take place at the Wilkinson Center.
There will also be a find Elfie contest.
“It’s a poker run, but we didn’t want to call it a poker run at a Christmas festival,” Greene said. “All the proceeds go to Martha’s Food Pantry.”
The entire poker run will take place downtown in one block.
A winning hand will be worth $50.
The top finishers in the best decorated-home contest will also be announced.