Bad weather will not interrupt holiday weekend activities

Published 8:19 pm Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Claus is not afraid of a little rain.
He may catch a few drops Saturday, but he will still make his rounds.
The jolly elf is slated for a 10 a.m. appearance in the Washington Christmas parade and should be in Belhaven in time for the town’s 11 a.m. parade.
Organizers of both events say they will not cancel scheduled festivities, even if the forecasted 60-percent chance of rain comes during the parade.
“It’ll be family fun, and family fun is good, rain or shine. Just bring an umbrella,” said Melissa Ingrao, head of Belhaven’s holiday planning committee.
Volunteers have prepared a nice, dry place for children to meet Santa and take photos from noon to 3 p.m. in a Pamlico Street storefront.
“His little house is inside one of the buildings, and it’s been decorated, and it’s a cute, cute house,” Ingrao said. “Plus, there’s an awning outside, and they can always go in and shop at the local stores.”
Ingrao said most stores would be open for the event. Pamlico Street restaurants like the recently opened Jack’s Tavern and Spoon River Artwork and Market will open early for the event.
Many of the local shops will be a part of the “Where’s Elfie?” event, a scavenger hunt for an elf that will be hidden in several of the businesses.
“We’ve got nine different elf locations people have to hunt,” Ingrao said.
A winner will be drawn from all completed entries.
Bobby Roberson, head of the Kiwanis’ parade committee, said the parade would roll down Main Street an hour earlier than previous years.
“Hoping people will shop and have lunch after,” he said.
Should rain join the parade, Roberson said, some entries like marching bands may withdraw from the event. But some floats will make the trip no matter what. Many of the businesses paid entry fees to participate. Those proceeds are used for scholarships for students from Northside High School, Southside High School and Washington High School.
“People should come to the parade to support the City of Washington,” Roberson said. “It’s the first step toward the holiday season, the first step to the festive holidays.”
Since becoming owner of the Ormond Theatre, Judy Downey said she has never had to cancel an event because of weather. Today and Saturday’s scheduled live nativities will be open for 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows, regardless of a few raindrops at the outdoor venue.
There are no rain dates for the Beaufort County Arts Council’s Christmas Tour of Homes. The self-guided tour will last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and feature several local homes and churches.
Fran Moore, a member of BCAC’s home tour committee, was optimistic about the chances of rain.
“It’s gone down from 100 percent to like 50 or 60,” she said.
Moore is confident that homeowners would not mind more than 200 pairs of wet shoes touring their homes.
“They have worked so hard to decorate and are so proud to show their homes,” she said. “There are some people that started decorating months ago. It’s a rain-or-shine event.”