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Spirit of Christmas Parade, 2012
Bathrobes and Dragons and Surprises
December 12, 2012

athrobes and dragons and the color red were in abundance at the 2012 Spirit of Christmas parade on Saturday afternoon.

Top honors went to Arapahoe Charter School’s float which featured students in pajamas and robes.

Liz Ann Taylor, a teacher at Arapahoe Charter School, walked the parade route alongside the ACS float. Their entry took the top honors in the parade. (For more photos of the ACS entry, visit Page 6)

The theme of the parade this year was Songs of the Holidays. One entry took a stanza from the Twelve Days of Christmas and reprised an appearance from a few years ago as the Eleven Piping Pipers. Instead of a horn section, though, the 11 bathrobe-clad men carried — and smoked — tobacco pipes.

The Eleven Piping Pipers on Hodges.

For their efforts at synchronized bowing, the pipers won the judges’ Best PJ’s and Knees honors.

From the knees down… most of the 11 Piping Pipers. (More photos of this entry are at Page 4)

A brightly painted Model A Ford rolled down the parade route with a surprise 50th birthday message for a local resident, plastered to the sides. The references to antiques won for Best Humor.

The Best Humor Award winner. The 80+ year old Model A served as a birthday greeting.
It was a surprise for Rita Vorleiter when the float wishing her a happy 50th birthday rolled by in front of Nautical Wheelers.(More photos of this entry on Page 5)

Meanwhile, the trailer towed behind that Model A won the Judges’ award for Best Pun: Missile Tow.

The parade’s prize-winning play on words — Missile Tow. A facsimile of a rocket missile was towed, while beneath the missile, a drawing showed a Santa getting a smooch as he might under mistletoe. (Pun and Photo Credit: Jennifer Smart)
Pilgrim Church singers. The Oriental church won the Best Spirit of Christmas award from the judges.(Ben Casey photo.)
Baseball in Pamlico County was represented by the Pamlico Swamp Rats, a youth team. The judges, perhaps taken in by the name and the choice of vehicle perhaps, tapped this entry to be Most Likely To Make The Grinch’s Heart Grow Three Sizes.
A dog, riding with the Corvette Club from Craven County, checked out the spectators.


This has been the Year of the Dragon in the Asian calendar. While there was no official theme for dragons in either the Croakerfest or the Spirit of Christmas parades, the mythical creature had a way of making itself felt.

The orange Chinese dragon purchased by community contributions two years ago, took honors for Best Spirit of Oriental.

Oriental’s Chinese dragon. While the dragon usually dances in the street, its handlers opted to take the dragon for a ride on the parade route Driving the float, Charlie Overcash at left.
While the Chinese Dragon took a ride rather than a saunter along the parade route the Drummin’ Dragons drum circle still pounded out a rhythm. At right, LouAnn Reineke, Nol Engel and Dan Reineke.

Also making an appearance, the long dragon boat acquired this year by the Oriental Dragon Boat Club. The parade conditions — a warm, sunny day in December — were much more favorable than the stormy weather that dogged the Oriental Dragon Boat Festival this past summer.

Oriental’s Dragon Boat Festival made a drier appearance than this summer’s festival.
Flora Moorman at dragon head bow ….
… and a few dozen feet aft, the tail.
Riding higher over the parade route, Jane Tigar pounded out the rhythm, reprising her role as drummer when the boat was in the water, where she had to use one hand to grip the seat and remain in the boat.


Leslie and Jim Kellenberger. They, their attire and their John Deere tractor won the coveted Red and Green Award from the judges.
Not Santa’s boots, but a way for the Pamlico Firefighers Association to raise money for shared equipment and firefighter training throughout the county. Jason Plank worked one side of the parade route — while Eric Kindle, in red plush skirt in background, worked the other. Altogether $500 was tucked in to those boots during the parade.
Eric Kindle and his fundraising boot. (Not shown, the mid-length plush red skirt he wore for the effort.(Photo: Ben Casey)
A wave from the Reelsboro Fire Department.
Linda Hurst and her grandson in one of the cars in the First Citizens Bank entourage.
Part of the wind section in the Pamlico High School marching band.
Some more of the PCHSMB. Judges said they were Most Melodic.


Seven of the Eleven Piping Pipers practice their walk before the parade, on Ragan Road. From left, Jerry Truelove, Dave Cox, Greg Gallagher, Bobby Brown, Bob Miller, Dave Marchand and Ray Everest. The other four pipersn (not pictured here) were Earl Evens, Charlie Garrett, Bernie Harberts and Keith Smith.
Jan Dique helps one of the eleven piping pipers, Ray Everest, prepare for the parade. Jan was one half of the team carrying the banner.
Before the parade they also practiced their bows.
.. which got better with repetition, as seen here farther down the parade route at Broad and Hodges. In front are Banner Maidens, Bonnie Truelove and Jan Dique.


Rita Vorleiter was watching the parade in front of Nautical Wheelers when the Model A and Missile Tow came by to wish her a happy 50th birthday. At left is Rita’s sister from Germany who surprised her with a visit a few days earlier.
A hug ensued.
Johnny and Margaret Reiswig riding in the Model A.


An Arapahoe Charter School student looks out from the ACS float, and gets some instruction on where to toss candy.
Arapahoe Charter School took top honors in the parade.
Students from ACS, decked out in pajamas, wait to board the float.
First, some last minute stapling…
Biding time before getting on the float.
Also waiting for the parade to start, children who were part of the First Citizen Bank’s motorcade of Corvettes. Leading the way would be a no-horsepower wagon.


Amy Chapin, one of the employees from First Citizens Bank,sporting a tiara and riding in the Corvettes.
Millie Lero, of First Citizens Bank, whose employees rolled by in a convoy of Corvettes.
Oriental Free Will Baptist Church float. Members of the church sang along the parade route.
The local Girl Scout troop were troupers — walking the parade route while singing Christmas carols, and carrying signs with their year-round motto.
Many vintages of car rolled down the parade route. Brandi Robinson gives a wave from the Bobby Prescott entry….
Billy Kemp, usually seen riding around Oriental in a tricycle with a canvas top, took to a 1928 Model A for the parade. IT was one of two Model A’s seen on Saturday. There was also a Model T.


The crowd along the parade route was a little thinner this year than in season’s past. But The Bean still drew spectators.
Pamlico Community College student David Sawyer.
Keith and Ally Rice, aboard the Pamlico Community College float.
Pilgrim Chapel Church in Oriental won the judges’ acclaim for Best Spirit of Christmas. On the back of a pickup, they squeezed in several singers and a keyboard and Christmas songs.
Candy in the air from an old Station 19 (Oriental) fire truck.


Harry Fluharty in the Florence-Whortonsville Fire Deparatment’s Foam truck. (It did not activate during the parade.)
Through the window of time in an 80 year old Ford.
Denton Pharmacy float.
The entourage from Denton Pharmacy.
Eric Kindle and some of the spectators along the parade route near The Bean.
Zumba on the parade line.


Cub Scout float.
We don’t know what it was, but it did seem cheerful to be on the Camp Seagull/Seafarer float as it passed The Bean.
Who says bright red and orange don’t go together? Santa rode in the parade, as he just about always does, on board the Coast Guard inflatable boat.
Santa took to a golf cart to make the rounds of town before the parade. (Efforts to locate Ross Pease during the afternoon were unsuccessful.)
Judges’ Awards In The 2012 Spirit of Christmas Parade

Best in Show – Arapahoe Charter School

Most Melodic – PCHS Marching Band

Best PJ’s( and knees) – Eleven Pipers Piping

Most Bubbly – Sudan Gators

Spirit Of Christmas – Pilgrim Church

Most Liberal with Candy – Camp Seafarer

Spirit of Oriental – The New Dragon

Grinch’s “Oh the Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise” Award – Pamlico Fire Dept.

Most likely to make the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes today – Swamp Rats Baseball

Red & Green Award – Kellenberger Family

Santa’s Sleigh vehicle – Driving Mr. T

Best Humor – Reiswig Family

Best Decorated Tree – Scout Troop 683

Rudolph’s Animal Kingdom Award – Pet Parlor

Best Pun – Missle Tow

Santa & His Helpers Award – USCG & Santa

Posted Wednesday December 12, 2012 by Melinda Penkava

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