Chocowinity prepares for yuletide season

Published 11:31 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Regina Elks, chairwoman of the upcoming Chocowinity Fire Department Auxiliary Christmas Expo, admires items created by Sheena Falkers (left). The auxiliary is currently recruiting vendors for the expo, planned for Nov. 17. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

CHOCOWINITY — While pumpkins, candy corn and trick-or-treat costumes are still much in evidence in the town of Chocowinity, for some residents thoughts are already turning to candy canes, Santa Claus and Christmas gifts.
Among those looking ahead to the traditional holiday season is Regina Elks, who is serving as chairwoman of the second-annual Chocowinity Fire Department Auxiliary Christmas Expo, which is planned for Nov. 17.
One may ask, why so early?
There are two very good reasons, actually, for scheduling the event the weekend before Thanksgiving. First, the expo provides a wonderful opportunity for folks looking for unusual and handcrafted gifts, organizers said. But the biggest reason is so the expo ties in with Chocowinity’s Christmas parade, also planned for that day.
“We’re having it the same day as the parade so people can spend the day with us here in Chocowinity,” said Elks, who also serves as auxiliary vice president.
It seems Chocowinity likes to get a head start on the rest of Beaufort County when it comes to celebrating the Christmas season.
The expo will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the fire department, located on N.C. Highway 33 near Vidant Family Medicine and O’Neal’s Pharmacy.
Local vendors are invited to sign up for booth space, which, if reserved and paid in advance, is available for $40 for a 10-foot-by-10-foot spot. The price goes up to $50 the day of the show, so artists and craftspeople are urged to sign up now. There is limited space available, according to Elks.
“We can host up to 25 booths, and we’re already getting a good response,” she added. “It’s on a first-come, first-served basis.”
Items available during last year’s show ran the gamut from handcrafted wooden porch swings to Christmas tree ornaments, children’s dresses and jewelry. And while items don’t necessarily have to be homemade, the auxiliary is limiting the choice of merchandise to gift items in order to avoid a “yard-sale” atmosphere.
“We have people signed up who are bringing jewelry, cooking items, gift bags and pocketbooks, Christmas decorations and holiday wreaths,” Elks said. “And there will be a booth sponsored by Angels N Camo.”
For those who come with an appetite, the fire department auxiliary will host a food booth, too.
Sheena Falkers, a teacher during the day and a craft enthusiast by night, is gearing up for the show. She plans to offer vinyl monogramming, embroidered scarves and blankets, children’s dance costumes, hair bows and other accessories.
“I do this in my spare time, with two friends,” Falkers said. “We’re all teachers.”
Funds raised through booth rentals and the auxiliary food sales will be used to buy items for the Chocowinity Fire Department, Elks said.
For more information about the Christmas Expo, contact Elks at 252-945-0601 or