Christmas parade, tree-lighting rocks Currituck

120918 Currituck Parade

Costumed chipmonk characters wave to the crowd from one of the floats participating in the 26th annual Currituck County Christmas Parade Friday night.


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Sunday, December 9, 2018

BARCO — Currituck's Cooperative Extension Office invited people to rock around the Christmas tree Friday night, and hundreds were happy to oblige.

The Extension Office and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89 hosted their annual Christmas festivities on Friday outside the Extension Office, offering family-friendly activities plus the 26th annual Christmas parade. This year's parade was themed “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,” paying homage to the classic Christmas song written by Johnny Marks and sung by Brenda Lee in 1958.

Kids had plenty to do before the parade got started, however. Extension staff hosted numerous events, including a coin toss to benefit a 4-H backpack program, a scavenger hunt, making “reindeer food,” a sack race appropriately rebranded as a “stocking race,” and a contest where kids decided on the best of two well-crafted gingerbread houses, one by Pat Dozier and another by the Sarnowski family.

The Christmas festivities held special weight for Charles and Natasha Cash, who visited with their two-year-old son, Charlie. Charles, a petty officer second class for the Navy, missed the holidays last year while on assignment, he said. He and Natasha said they wanted to enjoy Christmas together this year, since they don’t know what next year may bring.

As for what’s in store for Charlie this Christmas, they noted he likes cars and sea creatures, including whales and sharks.

Jon Winslow, wearing a necklace of Christmas lights, came to the festivities with his grandkids, noting his granddaughter was performing in the parade with the Three Little Birds dance group. As for his young grandson, Jayden Alderson, Winslow helped him with the scavenger hunt around the extension office. 

Asked about Christmas, Jayden noted it was “Jesus’s birthday,” and said one of his favorite Christmas activities was decorating.

Other performers Friday night included Lucy Chappell and her friends Erika Sawyer, Maggie Blankenship and Celeste Newbern, who wore shiny green outfits ahead of their ballet performance to the tune of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.” They’re part of Kelly’s Classical Ballet, they noted.

Asked about the best part of Christmas, Chappell said simply, “family.”

Lead organizers for Friday’s activities were Sgt. Det. James Midgett and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Program Assistant Sheila Gregory.

In between directing in Girl Scouts, an American Legion motorcycle club, and others during the parade lineup, Gregory said the Extension is happy to help the community celebrate Christmas.

“This is what keeps us going,” she said of the community on Friday, noting how cheerful and eager people were.

Some other participants in the parade, according to a sheet Gregory provided, included the Currituck County High School JROTC, the Currituck Family YMCA, New Life Church, the Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department, Boy Scouts, and the Currituck Animal Shelter.