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July 10, 2012
The 32nd Annual Croakerfest Parade may be remembered for several things. The heat. A giant pizza. A rickshaw. More of the heat. And a four-year old boy who walked the parade route, barefoot, with a fishing pole over his small shoulder in a tribute to the late Andy Griffith.Oliver Haluska, in the role of Opie Taylor from the Andy Griffith Show, walked the entire parade route toward an ever-moving Fishing Hole. The float carried his sister, brother, parents and grandparents and won the grand prize in Saturday’s parade.
Griffith, who brought Mayberry and small town North Carolina to TV, passed away just a few days before Oriental’s own big small-town event, the 2012 Croakerfest. Oriental residents Ed and Deborah Bryant — along with their daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren from Tennessee — put together a float to honor the Andy Griffith Show and its whistled theme song, The Fishin’ Hole.
It was the youngest grandson, Oliver Haluska, who played the role of Opie walking to the fishing hole. The Bryant and Haluska families’ efforts won them the parade’s grand prize.Oliver Haluska of Tennessee, who with his sister and brother was part of a float paying tribute to the late Andy Griffith who died a few days before the Croakerest. Oliver walked the route, fishing pole in hand a la Opie Taylor in the Andy Griffith show..
There were other touches in the parade that accentuated the Mayberry in Oriental.Tim Rodgers pulls the rickshaw he built for his wife Janet Alexander. Their son, Spencer enjoys the ride down Broad Street. The sign on the rickshaw is a reference to the parade theme, “Where’s Croaker?”Meteorologist Skip Waters of Channel 12 did encounter a number of comments from spectators about the almost unbearably hot weather, which he could do nothing about. He did note, however, that he could crank the AC in the TV station’s truck, and he did.“ … like a big pizza pie. That’s amore.” The Little Italy Pizzeria float with biggest pizza in the parade, if not in Pamlico County. Visible in upper right, pizza dough which was being tossed along the route. As for the parade theme, “Where’s Croaker?” the Pamlico Sound fish may have been disguised as an anchovy in this float..The winners of Oriental’s 2012 Croakerfest Parade, as posted outside the Croaker booth at South and Freemason.