Chocowinity kicks off the holidays with parade, expo

Published 7:40 pm Thursday, November 17, 2016

CHOCOWINITY — Classic cars and marching bands, floats and fire trucks — the holidays officially arrive at 10 a.m. Saturday with the Chocowinity Christmas parade.

Kevin Scott Cutler, a teaching assistant from Chocowinity Primary School, who has long covered Chocowinity life for the Daily News, will serve as grand marshal of the first parade of the season, according to Chocowinity Fire Chief Tommy Pendley.

“He’s going to be (riding) in a ’60s Chevrolet convertible owned by David Elks,” Pendley said.

Also riding in vintage style will be Chocowinity Mayor Jimmy Mobley, whose escort will be Rudy Gue, and his ’57 Chevrolet.

The parade is held in conjunction with the Chocowinity VFD Auxiliary’s Christmas Expo at the fire station from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The expo features more than 40 vendors, a fundraiser breakfast for Angels N Camo and the opportunity for children to have their picture taken with Santa.

“(It’s) just to start Christmas. It’s the first parade of the year, and we’re hoping to get people excited about Christmas and do a little shopping while they’re there,” Pendley said.

While the parade is unusual because it’s been held before Thanksgiving for more than a decade, the reasoning behind the early arrival of Christmas to Chocowinity is simple: other municipalities had already established parades on certain dates —Washington and Bath, on the first Saturday and Sunday of December; Belhaven and Aurora, the Saturday and Sunday of the second weekend of December — so Chocowinity decided to go early.

“We tried not run on top of everyone else and have it at the same time,” Mobley said. “That’s why we have it the Saturday before Thanksgiving.”

Pendley said the good weather looks like it will be holding out for the parade and its 60-plus entries, all of which precede the Jolly Old Elf, Santa, who will bring up the rear of the parade.

The Chocowinity tradition is always a good time, one the mayor enjoys every year.

“Well you know, everybody here in town knows me and I know everybody here in town, so it is fun,” Mobley said. “I hope everybody here in town comes and has a good time.”