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Two Dragons and a Croaker - New Year's Eve 2018 into 2019
Traditions and a fresh start
January 2, 2019

T
wo dragons met, and danced, in the middle of Hodges Street on New Year’s Eve. It’s how Oriental celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of the next. And this year was a little different.

This year, the dragons started from either end of Hodges St and met in the middle. It worked. And it wasn’t the only new addition to the night.

New Year's Eve 2018
Touching the Dragon on New Year’s Eve is said to bring good luck. We’re not so sure about selfies.
New Year's Eve 2018
Crowds on Hodges St, swarming the street.

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, residents were invited to write the worst parts of 2018 on slips of paper and burn them away, leaving the ashes in the old year.

New Year's Eve 2018
Marsha Paplham watches as Lee Duer throws her paper into the fire.
New Year's Eve 2018
Lori Wagoner embraces the dragon spirit in a theme appropriate onesie.

Instead of a dropping a mirrored ball at midnight, a large, illuminated Croaker (a local fish known to ‘croak’ when out of water) is released from a pole on town dock #1.

New Year's Eve 2018
The Croaker waits for midnight.

Dragon Master Jim Edwards orchestrated the events, dropping the Croaker at midnight with the help of his daughter Alexis. The event comes together every year because of the town: the Dragon Master (Jim Edwards) coordinates the larger dragon run and Croaker drop, Larry Summers and the Chinese Dragon crew animate the Chinese Dragon, Village Hardware supply replacement parts, Rotary Club provides a temporary dragon lair (a tent), Village Mini Storage provides the permanent dragon lair, and Patrons of the Dragon, financial supporters of the New Year’s Eve dragon.

New Year's Eve 2018New Year's Eve 2018New Year's Eve 2018
Noise makers are encouraged. Drummers take over The Bean porch and the crowd brings what their homes (and kitchens) provide.
New Year's Eve 2018
The scene on Hodges, pre-dragon.
New Year's Eve 2018
The dragon, sheltered by a tent before the first run.
New Year's Eve 2018
Oriental mayor Sally Belangia and the Dragon.
New Year's Eve 2018
Joe Mattea brought his own dragon.
New Year's Eve 2018
A lucky New Year reveler.
New Year's Eve 2018
The smaller Chinese Dragon, lead by Eric Kindle, dances on Hodges before midnight.
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Hats, some homemade and others not, come out for the parade and Croaker drop.
New Year's Eve 2018
Safety first
New Year's Eve 2018
After the Croaker drops, partiers take a New Year selfie.

Posted Wednesday January 2, 2019 by Allison DeWeese


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