I hope you were here for the parade the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was another great one. Each year there are more participants and this year we had 90 entries. The weather was perfect and parade participants and viewers were a good mixture of residents, second home owners, and visitors from near-by communities. There was just as much fun in preparing the entries and mixing during the lineup as during the parade itself.
I am always proud of the community spirit that exists in Emerald Isle. It was very evident during the parade and the after-the-parade Santa visit. It is especially meaningful when visitors get the same feeling. The following are parts of the article that appeared in the Jacksonville Daily News.
Everyone from participant to police officer to parade-goer seemed to know each other.
“This makes me want to move here,” said Pat King, an assistant elementary school principal on vacation from Reidsville. “This place is so friendly; it just makes you want to be a part of it.”
King has owned a condo at Emerald Isle for five years, but this was the first time she has caught the parade.
“Everyone knows everybody,” she said. “I wonder if they need a principal.”
As the horse-drawn Wells Fargo stagecoach carrying Emerald Isle Mayor Art Schools and his wife, Diane, passed the crowd, the eyes of Tim Johnson, an 8-year-old visiting his grandparents, looked as if they might pop out of his head.
“That’s cool,” he told his grandfather. “I want to ride one.”
A card sent to Diane and I contained the following:
I feel compelled to compliment you on the wonderful parade. I arrived Saturday morning after a hectic holiday travel and as always while crossing the bridge, I took a deep breath and thanked my lucky stars.
While preparing for the parade, observing all the other entrants and riding on our float, I caught glimpses of the ocean dunes, of our town people and sensed a common spirit of community that is so evident here.
There were many emails and personal comments that expressed the same sentiment. I congratulate all of you for creating this “community feeling”. It takes everyone working together to make it happen. If you didn’t make the parade this year, please plan on it next year. Each year more people come to the parade and make it an annual event.
Diane and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyous Holiday Season and we always look forward to seeing you.