The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we had the 6th Annual Christmas Parade in Emerald Isle. I think it is safe to say that a great time was had by all. The weather was great and there were about 80 entries after a few last minute dropouts for various reasons. On parade day, it took a lot of people from the Emerald Isle Business Association, all town departments, and many volunteer citizens to get the entries in the right place, keep the parade moving at a proper pace, and to redirect Emerald Drive traffic. My wife Diane was the Coordinator for the parade and along with several volunteers rounded up the entries. I thank everyone for making the parade a success.
All entries had a special meaning, but since I have limited space, I can only tell you about a few. For the 3rd year, the Wells Fargo Stage Coach carried Diane and I, and inside this time was Town Manager Frank Rush and his family. Each of those three years, Dave has been the leader of the Wells Fargo team that comes to Emerald Isle. Each year, including this year, this same team goes to the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena. Dave has a bulldog named Jack that sits on top of the stage coach and never makes a sound as some dogs in the crowd bark at the horses. The barking doesn’t seem to bother the horses either. Diane and I consider it an extreme privilege to be able to ride on the Wells Fargo Stage Coach. Thanks to Jill Searcy of the local Wells Fargo office for bringing the stage coach to town.
We were fortunate that Senator Preston and Representative McElraft were both in town this year, rode in our parade, and watched most of the parade from the new Town Hall. We are very fortunate to have the Senator and the Representative for Emerald Isle living in Emerald Isle and always willing to take part in local events.
Our Grand Marshall was Staff Sgt. Carlos Robayo, Wounded Warrior, from the Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune. He is a native of Miami Florida. He suffered significant war time injuries and after two years of recovery and numerous operations is doing very well. He is hoping to be able to return to active duty and that determination will be made in the near future. He is a fine young man and I wish him well.
Lastly, I want to mention the Bluewater Realty entry. Bluewater’s organizer in the past has been Gail Martin. She has been very sick this year and could not take on that task. Gail had always wanted to do a Tiki Bar. This year her fellow employees got together and did a Tiki Bar in her honor. Gail was able to attend the parade and was very pleased with the work of her co-workers. It gives me great joy to see a group of people joining together to show appreciation for a friend that has fallen upon hard times.
Thanks again to everyone that made the parade a reality, and everyone that came. It was a great “Community” day.