HERTFORD — A devoted woman of God, an advocate for area school children, and a lady who continues to work for racial equality will serve as grand marshall of this year’s Hertford Christmas Parade.
Estelle Felton, noted for her long-time involvement in Perquimans County, will lead the parade Saturday when it gets underway at 2 p.m.
“Miss Estelle,” as she is known to one and all, is the first female chairperson of the Perquimans County Democratic Party, the first African-American female director of Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation, and the first home and school coordinator for Perquimans County Schools, according to information provided by the Perquimans Chamber of Commerce which sponsors the parade. She has served on the Ministers’ Council for Education for a number of years and has helped Open Door Food Pantry as a board member for 30 years.
She is also a past president and vice president of the Perquimans County NAACP and one of the Mothers of the Greater Saunders Grove Missionary Baptist Church where she serves as church clerk and deacon.
She is well known for her singing and has participated in numerous National Day of Prayer services on the historic courthouse lawn.
One of 12 children, Felton grew up in Hertford and later married her soul mate, the late Louis Henry Felton. She is the mother of seven children, grandmother to 20, and great-grandmother to 17.
“This lady has not hesitated to step forth to serve in whatever capacity she was needed,” said Perquimans Chamber Executive Secretary Sylvia Wyatt in announcing Felton’s selection for the parade honor.
This year’s parade will feature three bands including the Perquimans County High School Marching Pirates, the Northeastern High School band, and the band from Perquimans County Middle School. The theme this year is “Christmas Memories.”
Wyatt says more than 50 units have signed up to participate including the popular Sudan Buccaneers which converted a school bus into a “pirate ship” complete with booming cannons, Smokey the Bear, and Bethel Fire Department’s Sparky the fire dog.
Harvey Point’s Oshkosh Striker monstrous Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Vehicle will fill the street again this year.
The United States Coast Guard will also do a flyover of the parade route and provide a color guard and rescue boat in the parade.
Santa will arrive during the parade and will greet children immediately afterwards at Inteliport where free photos with Santa will be available for email.