Holiday parade lights up EC
By Reggie Ponder
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Rainy weather didn’t seem to dampen the holiday spirit of people who turned out for the 2018 Elizabeth City Christmas Parade Saturday afternoon.
Those watching the parade found a variety of ways to stay as dry as possible. The hardest rainfall was probably right around the start of the parade at 5:30 p.m. Spectators gathered beneath awnings in front of businesses, stood under umbrellas, used the rear lift gates of their vehicles as rain guards, and found a few tents scattered along the parade route.
But the evening parade was a hit, raining or not.
One of those using their vehicle’s lift gate to keep dry was Mike Slate and his family, of Elizabeth City. Slate said he sees the parade most years and prefers when it is held at nighttime. He enjoys seeing the lights in the parade, he said.
The parade this year featured 37 floats and four marching bands. Participating bands were from Northeastern High School, Pasquotank County High School, Camden High School and Elizabeth City State University.
Floats were judged in three categories: Business, church and school.
The Elizabeth City Fire Department took first place honors in the business category and the Albemarle Family YMCA finished second.
First place for church floats went to Evangelical Methodist Church and second place was awarded to Blackwell Baptist Church.
In the school category top honors went to Weeksville Elementary School; New Life Academy was second.
Tamika White of Perquimans County said this was the first time she had seen a nighttime Christmas Parade in Elizabeth City.
“It was so cold last year,” White said. “But it’s nice, though. With all the lights and floats and stuff it’s really nice.”
White said she has seen the daytime parade in Elizabeth City a number of times.
“I love all the parades, actually,” White said.
She said she really didn’t mind the rain but would have preferred it had the parade been rescheduled to Sunday afternoon.
White said her son was in the parade with Easter Seals. She said she likes the floats, bands and all the entries in the parade.
“I enjoy it all,” she said.
William Stokley Jr., a native of Elizabeth City who now lives in Chesapeake, Va., likes to make it home for the parade. This year he brought four children and 10 grandchildren.
Stokley said he enjoys seeing all the hometown people.
“The kids enjoy the lights,” he said.
He said he was surprised at the number of people who lined Road Street and other streets along the parade route to watch the parade in the rain.
“It‘s a good little turnout,” Stokley said.
Stokley said the parade is better at night with all the lights.
“You really get the feel of it,” he said.