Chocowinity Fire Department planning first parade of the holidays

Published 6:25 pm Friday, October 21, 2016




CHOCOWINITY — Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department is setting the parade wheels in motion for the first event of the holiday season with a call to vendors and parade participants.

The parade, known for launching the county’s Christmas festivities, is set for 10 a.m. on Nov. 19, according Chocowinity VFD Chief Tommy Pendley. Coordinated with the parade is the Christmas Expo hosted by Chocowinity VFD Auxiliary and held in the fire department bay, where vendors sell everything from crafts to home-baked goods, said Auxiliary President Lori Avery.

Both organizations are now taking applications for the season’s first greeting, and for the first time, Chocowinity VFD is taking the reins of the town’s parade.

“We’ve been involved in it, but we’re actually putting our name behind is this year, instead of the town,” Pendley said.

Last year, approximately 75 groups took part in the parade—ranging from scouts to cheerleading squads to fire departments near and far, Pendley said — and more than 40 vendors in the Expo.

“You can watch the parade and get some Christmas shopping done,” Pendley said.

The Christmas Expo runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature a pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser by Angels N Camo, a nonprofit group that hosts hunting and fishing trips for children suffering from health issues.

Avery said the success of the Expo is a testament to the fire department’s standing in the town.

“It kind of seems to work out because the fire department is well-respected in the community, so when you have the chief and his officers back us up, it all works out. … I know the Auxiliary has always done really well,” Avery said.

She said each vendor is asked to pay $40 to participate, but keeps what they make at the Expo.

While the request for applications goes out, the fire department is also putting on another annual fundraiser at the station: a barbecue plate dinner on Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. until the food sells out. Proceeds will benefit Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department and the Wilmar Substation.

Those interested in being a part of the Chocowinity Christmas Parade can pick up an application at the fire department or at Chocowinity Town Hall. For more information, visit the Chocowinity VFD Facebook page or call Pendley at 252-714-3774. Vendors interested in the Expo can contact Lori Avery at 252-945-2180 or Regina Elks at 252-945-0601.