Washington rings in Christmas

Published 1:36 am Sunday, December 4, 2011

Members of the congregation of First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, ride on a float during Washington’s Christmas parade Saturday morning. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

More than an hour before the Washington Christmas parade’s official starting time Saturday morning, spectators began staking out prime viewing spots along Main and Market streets.
Meanwhile, Bobby Roberson kept a watchful eye along Stewart Parkway as floats, marching bands, tractors and automobiles began lining up for the parade. Roberson, as president of the Washington Kiwanis Club and mayor pro-tem of Washington, oversaw planning of the annual Christmas procession.
“But all Kiwanis club members were involved in this,” Roberson noted after greeting members of the United States Marine Corps Color Guard. “We’re expecting around 60 entries, including bands from Washington High School, Northside High School and Southside High School.”
The Kiwanis Club has partnered with the City of Washington for eight years as sponsors of the parade. Saturday’s event brought back happy childhood memories for Roberson, who grew up in Washington.
“It was always a highlight of the Christmas season,” he recalled. “I’ll never forget the big Christmas tree that stood in a box in the middle of the intersection of Main and Market streets.”
For this year’s parade, young Mallory Nobles and Tyler Moore settled into their roles as Mary and Joseph on a float designed by First Baptist Church of Chocowinity. It was their second parade appearance in as many weeks, following up on their Nov. 19 outing in the Chocowinity Christmas parade.
Churches from across Beaufort County took part in the Washington parade, as did public and private school groups, civic organizations and area businesses. As is local tradition, the final entry in the parade was Santa Claus riding atop a ladder truck from the Washington Fire Department.
Beaufort County’s Christmas parade celebrations continue today in Bath with an event set for 2 p.m. Parades are also scheduled in Belhaven on Dec. 10 beginning at 11 a.m., Aurora on Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. and Edward on Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.
For more photos from the Washington Christmas parade, as well as Washingtonians’ memories of parades past, see the Pamlico Horizons feature in the Dec. 18 Daily News.