Choco. welcomes Christmas

Published 1:45 am Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocowinity Mayor Jimmy Mobley and his great-grandson Kaden Tyndall greet spectators during the town’s Christmas parade on Saturday. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

CHOCOWINITY — Beaufort County’s first parade of the 2011 Christmas season wound its way through the town of Chocowinity Saturday morning.
Among those on hand to celebrate the occasion was Santa Claus, who greeted folks while perched atop a fire engine from the Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department. Also welcoming the yuletide season was Mayor Jimmy Mobley, accompanied by his 1-year-old great-grandson, Kaden Tyndall, who was enjoying his first parade.
Working diligently behind the scenes to insure things ran smoothly were parade co-chairs Arlene Jones and Rachel Wolfe. The women were instrumental in reviving the Chocowinity parade tradition in 2006.
Wolfe served as grand marshal this year, an honor bestowed upon her in recognition of her volunteer efforts with the parade as well as Chocowinity’s 50th anniversary celebration. She is also an active member of Wayside Presbyterian Church in Chocowinity. She has been a Chocowinity resident since 1965.
This year’s parade drew an estimated 75 entries, according to Jones. Elected officials on the local, county and state level greeted their constituents, and floats sponsored by area churches, schools, civic organizations and businesses helped make the parade a colorful and festive affair.
Music was provided by marching bands from Southside High School, Chocowinity Middle School and Washington High School. Fire and rescue personnel represented departments from throughout Beaufort County, as well.
Rounding out the parade was a procession of tractors ridden by members of the Eastern Antique Power Association and a fine selection of classic automobiles, including a 1922 Ford Model T once owned by the late Clyde Harding, a longtime teacher and coach at the former Chocowinity High School.
In keeping with the holiday theme, a craft bazaar hosted by the Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary featured a variety of Christmas decorations and gift ideas.
Parade aficionados will have the opportunity to enjoy several other events this year. Next on the schedule is the Washington Christmas parade, planned for Dec. 3. Other towns that have announced such dates include Bath on Dec. 4, Belhaven on Dec. 10, Aurora on Dec. 11 and Edward on Dec. 18.