Chocowinity welcomes 2010 Christmas season

Published 6:49 am Sunday, November 21, 2010

Contributing Writer

CHOCOWINITY — The town of Chocowinity welcomed the Christmas season Saturday morning with its fifth-annual holiday parade.
Gordon Edwards, who served approximately 18 years as Chocowinity’s chief of police, was given the honor of serving as parade grand marshal. Shortly before the procession began, Edwards was congratulated by Mayor Jimmy Mobley.
Joining Edwards, Mobley and town commissioners in the parade were more than 60 entries featuring local schools, churches, civic and youth groups, elected officials and fire and rescue personnel, according to Arlene Jones, who coordinates the traditional event with Rachel Wolfe.
Sunny skies and pleasant temperatures greeted local residents and visitors who started gathering along the parade route nearly an hour before floats began to roll at 10 a.m.
While waiting, they enjoyed the sounds of holiday tunes provided by marching bands from Chocowinity Middle School and Southside High School, the musicians tuning their instruments in preparation for their parade performances.
Leading off the parade was a U.S. Marine Corps color guard. Following behind was Edwards, who waved to the crowds from a Christmas-red, classic automobile. Farther along the procession were members of the Eastern Antique Power Association driving vintage tractors decorated for the yuletide holiday.
“We do these parades to help pass along the farming heritage and show our restoration and preservation of antique farm equipment,” said association member Stan Hudson of Chocowinity. “And we like showing off a little bit, too.”
Hudson said club members hope to participate in most of Beaufort County’s holiday parades this season. In the coming weeks, Washington, Bath, Belhaven and Aurora are scheduled to host such events.
The parade’s grand finale introduced Santa Claus, riding atop a Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department truck. Accompanying him was “elf” Darren Syers, a firefighter with the department.