CroakerFest 2006
A smaller crowd but a happy weekend
July 3, 2006

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This is Page 1 of 4 of Croaker Festival 2006

Croaker Festival 2006 in Oriental may have played to a smaller crowd - but we saw happy smiles among the thousands that did attend.

Faye Bond shows her patriotic colors in a trip down memory lane (Mona Kay Sadler photo)

For the past month media around the state seem to have talked about nothing but "Tall Ships - Tall Ships" - the event being held in Beaufort and Morehead City the same weekend as CroakerFest. That advertising blitz was tough to fight, and Head Croaker Candy Bohmert estimated the crowds were down about half from last year - "we think we had about 4 to 5 thousand" Bohmert said.

"Vendors said all events they have attended so far this year have had fewer people" Bohmert added. Gas prices are suspected as a likely reason. Add to that the highly advertised "Tall Ships" event just a few miles down the road - and the effect was there.

But the Croaker Fest volunteer team pulled off a great weekend - a creative parade, and the festival lead to a spectacular firworks show Saturday night.

About that parade....

Parade Master Paul Fairbank talks to the Marine band before the parade starts. This may be the only opportunity Paul has to tell a group of Marines what to do.

The Marines follow direction well.

Leading the parade...

A parade favorite - the Official Garbology Vehicle

Parade Winners - The Ladies of the Neuse Trophies

Overall Grand Prize: Mainsail Point - a giant fish with a dragon's tail.

Grosvenor Barber provided parade propulsion for's new "MobileCam" - winner of the "Most Hi-Tech" award.

Most Hi-tech: "MobileCam" wagon

Best Ride Down Memory Lane: Faye Bond wearing the dress that her mother Erma Midyette used to wear in the parade.

Best Representation of "Land of Leisure Living": Cartwright House B & B. Float was model of front porch with guests sipping coffee and wine.

Most Finely Crafted Boat and Fish: Tom and Liz Lathrop's wood speed boat with matching croaker fish.

Best Water Usage: 4-H. An inflatable pool & 4-H members swith squirt guns spraying the crowd.

Croakiest Cheerleader: 4-H

Best Antiques: Wallace Glover and friend riding antique pedal bikes.

Most Patriotic: Skeeter Creek Yacht Club

Most Blatantly Frivolous: Red Hatters Club

Best Mermaid: Annie Austindorf. Annie was one of two mermaids entered.

Most Creative: Pamlico Pediatrics.

Best Boats: Children's Theater.

Group Most Supportive of Women's Club: Harley Davidson riders. Marguerite Garret explains - "one of the Women's Club members was dragging a cooler full of iced drinks down the parade route selling them for a $1.00 apiece as a fundraiser. The spectators weren't buying them because most of the people had brought their own water. The Harley riders had forgotten theirs so they were buying the the $1.00 bottle for $2.00".

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