Holiday parades abound|Belhaven, Aurora set Christmas festivities

Published 9:12 am Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

Two Beaufort County towns will celebrate the Christmas season in grand style with holiday parades planned for this weekend.
First up is Belhaven’s fifth-annual Festival of Lights parade, scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. This year’s theme is “Lights of Peace and Hope,” with local school and church groups, businesses and civic organizations slated to participate.
But the parade is just one part of Belhaven’s holiday festivities.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the Belhaven Community Chamber of Commerce will host a gift-shop holiday sale. Featured will be local art, Belhaven T-shirts, afghans adorned with northeastern Beaufort County landmarks, limited edition Belhaven Town Hall ornaments and other assorted gift items.
The chamber will hold an open house from 2 to 4 p.m., serving up hot apple cider, hot chocolate and special treats. Local entertainers also will perform during the event, and Santa Claus will be special guest. From 2 to 4 p.m., a gingerbread-house workshop will be held at Oasis by Design, with all materials supplied by the chamber.
The Rotary Club and the chamber will light the Belhaven Christmas tree on the corner of Main and Pamlico streets at 4:45 p.m.
Business and residential Christmas decorations will be judged this week; to participate, participants should have their lights turned on by 5 p.m. today. Awards also will be presented for the best parade entries.
On Sunday, Aurora will ring in the season with a parade slated to include upwards of 75 entries, according to Michael Patterson, who is directing the event with his daughter, Gail Phelps.
Aurora’s parade is set to begin at 3 p.m.
“We’re expecting the Red Hat Ladies, Southside High School marching band, Pamlico County Jr. ROTC color guard, Beaufort County Crime Stoppers, U.S. Coast Guard Station-Hobucken, the American Red Cross and Sudan clowns, truckers, gators and fire brigade,” Patterson said.
The lineup also will feature the Aurora Police Department, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, fire and rescue units from Aurora and Blounts Creek, local Scouts, horseback riders, county and town commissioners, businesses, churches and an antique patrol car from the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
And making his first Christmas parade appearance as Aurora’s new mayor will be Clif Williams.
The Aurora-Richlands Chamber of Commerce will host a holiday “meet and greet” from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Patterson added.
“We’re having a Christmas social, so come learn what we’re all about,” he said.