If area residents still aren’t in the holiday mood yet, this weekend will likely change that.
No fewer than three tree-lighting ceremonies, two lighted boat parades, and six Christmas parades are on tap for either today or Saturday.
Currituck County and the towns of Hertford and Edenton all plan to hold tree-lighting ceremonies later today. Currituck will follow with its Christmas parade this evening, while Edenton and Elizabeth City will host lighted boat parades tonight.
Then on Saturday, Hertford, Edenton, Winfall, South Mills and Elizabeth City all plan to hold their Christmas parades.
Edenton’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony will begin at the town’s waterfront 5:30 p.m., while Hertford’s Grand Illumination ceremony gets underway on the Perquimans Courthouse lawn at 6 p.m. After Edenton’s tree-lighting ceremony, its annual Flotilla will take place on Edenton Bay. Nine boats decorated with strands of Christmas lights participated in last year’s Flotilla.
In Elizabeth City, the Pasquotank River Yacht Club will host its Lighted Boat Parade on the Pasquotank River today at 7 p.m. Those viewing the parade from the Elizabeth City waterfront can expect to see sail boats, a pontoon boat and fishing boats all decked out in Christmas lights. Elizabeth City Downtown Inc. will distribute glow sticks to parade-watchers along the waterfront. ECDI says Mariners’ Wharf, Mariners’ Wharf Park and Moth Boat Park are ideal locations to watch the parade.
Karen Askew, the yacht club’s past commodore, said weather will influence the number of participating boaters. Askew said boaters need a calm night because strong winds can interfere with some boat lights. Today’s weather forecast is calling for evening showers and temperatures in the low 40s.
While yacht club members are the most likely participants, boaters across the area are welcome to take part in the parade.
“We hold several events over the year but this one has to be completed before it gets too cold for our boaters to be on the water without heat,” she said. “We really appreciate the people who come to the waterfront to wave, cheer, and wish us a Merry Christmas while watching the parade. It’s all done for the community.”
After the boat parade, ECDI will welcome Santa to the waterfront to mingle with kids. The city fire department also plans to show off several fire vehicles at the event.
Currituck County, meanwhile, plans to hold all of its holiday events tonight, starting with its annual Reindeer Games at the Currituck Center of Cooperative Extension at 120 Community Way, Barco, at 5:30 p.m. The county tree-lighting ceremony follows in the center’s courtyard at 6:30 p.m. The event will also include free cookies, hot cocoa, games and activities for kids.
Cameron Lowe, director of Currituck and Camden Cooperative Extension, said the games are scheduled help the public focus on health and fitness. Cooperative Extension master food volunteers will also offer healthy foods taste tests. Ribbons will be available for the public to sign and hang on the newly illuminated tree.
Currituck’s annual Christmas parade follows at 7 p.m. The parade route will start near College of The Albemarle’s Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center, move down College Way, turn on Maple Way and end on Community and Aviation ways. The parade will feature more than 30 entries, including decorated floats, tractors and the Camden County High School band. The parade is sponsored the local Fraternal Order of Police and Currituck Cooperative Extension.
Saturday’s Christmas parades begin with Edenton’s at 10 a.m., sponsored by the Edenton-Chowan Chamber of Commerce and the Rocky Hock Ruritans. The parade route will start in the CVS parking lot on North Broad Street and travel the length of the street to the waterfront. This year’s parade theme is “Home for the Holidays.”
Winfall’s parade begins at 11 a.m. Lineup begins in front of Perquimans Middle School at 9:30 a.m.
South Mills’ Christmas Parade also begins at 11 a.m.
Hertford’s parade begins in front of Perquimans County High School at 2 p.m.
Elizabeth City will hold the last area Christmas parade of the day.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., nearly 90 parade entries will line up near Enfield Park and then roll along Ehringhaus Street before turning left onto Road Street. From there the parade will proceed to Main Street and turn right. The parade will make its way to the waterfront, turning right onto Water Street and ending at Waterfront Park.
Darris Sawyer, recreation superintendent for Elizabeth City’s Parks and Recreation Department and coordinator of the Christmas parade, said this year’s parade theme is “Christmas in the River City.” Floats will be judged based on creativity and how their decorations fit the parade’s theme.
Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie J. Parker and Pasquotank County Manager Sparty Hammett will serve as the parade’s grand marshals.
Among the bands scheduled to participate are those from Camden County High School, Northeastern High School, Pasquotank High School and Elizabeth City State University. Antique tractors, fire trucks from area fire stations and classic cars will also participate.
“Santa will arrive with the Pasquotank High School Band and some of the people walking in the parade, as well as elementary school cheering groups will pass out candy to the crowd,” Sawyer said. “Some motorcycle and car clubs will be in the parade as well as go carts, side by side vehicles.”
Organizers of Friday’s and Saturday’s holiday events in Elizabeth City are hoping for a good turnout, he said.
“We hope people will come downtown for these weekend events, see the decorations, enjoy the restaurants and shop. It’s a good time to walk around,” Sawyer said.