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New Year's Eve 2022 into 2023
Dragons in the fog and a star-caught Croaker
January 3, 2023

ust ten minutes before 8p, Hodges Street appeared almost empty. The rain, what drizzle there’d been, had stopped a few minutes earlier, leaving damp pavement in its wake.

An empty street before the 11:30p run.

The road appeared desolate, not a likely place for a Dragon and several hundred people to bring in the New Year.

But then they started arriving. Some with silly hats or glasses, others with pats and pans. Revelers sat on the porch of The Bean and lined the railing along the harbor, overflowing into the streets.

The Dragon moves through the early crowd.

Humans, all ages & sizes, came to see (and maybe touch) the New Year’s Eve Dragon.

Touching a dragon is said to bring good luck, and there were two chances to get it: at the early 8p run, and the later 11:30p run.

The small Chinese Dragon coils above Hodges Street at the late run

More humans crowded into the early run. Accompanied by fog, the hundred or so humans could walk alongside the dragon, and watch it greet to the other creature on Hodges Street – the smaller, Chinese Dragon.

Meeting in the middle – the New Year’s Eve Dragon and the smaller Chinese Dragon greet each other on Hodges Street.

When the dragons returned to their respective lairs, it was close to midnight, and time for the Croaker to drop. In years past, the Croaker was dropped from a mast, while the crowd counted down the end of the year. This year, it descended down the light pole on the side of the dock – and got hung up on the Spirit of Christmas star on the way down.

The Croaker gets caught on the Spirit of Christmas star during the drop.

A quick yank on the lines had it set to rights and it made the full descent in time to ring in the New Year.

Dragon Master Jim Edwards and Stephanie Carperos check over the Croaker before it goes up on the pole for the midnight drop.
The Dragon head in the daylight – waiting under a tent for its big night on Hodges Street.
The crowd came dressed and ready for a Dragon encounter.

Larry Summers waves the dragon flag.
Dragon dental check reveals a human hanging out in there.
The crowd usually brings pots and pans to make noise for the dragon. This man brought out garbage can lids.
A Dragon run on human power.
The Chinese Dragon is guided through the streets by a large orb.
The Dragon gets a few pets from Christel Monmoine.
A power boater leaving the old year (and the dock) behind after the last Dragon Run.

The Dragon Run is every New Year’s Eve, rain or shine, at 8p & 11:30p on Hodges Street.

Posted Tuesday January 3, 2023 by Allison DeWeese

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