Hurlock Christmas parade draws record crowd

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The Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz North Dorchester High School marching band again lived up to its high standards.

HURLOCK — At the biggest party in its history, the 2014 Hurlock Christmas parade and celebration drew a record crowd. Folks lined the sidewalks two and three deep from Oak and Main to the blinking light at rte. 392. Experienced parade watchers checked the weather and wisely brought blankets and afghans to ward off a wind chill in the 30s. To relax during the hour long parade some settled down in portable chairs with cocoa and coffee.
Hurlock’s “Caboose” debuted this year and was a hands-down sensation. Resident Joe Spratt with help from Sonny Jones created a unique display in a town with a lengthy railroading history. Mayor Joyce Spratt and Town Council members Jerry Rhue, Bonnie Franz, Earl Murphy, and Charles Cephas opened the hour-long parade. Rounding out the festive atmosphere in the caboose were several area youngsters.
Eighty entries from Talbot County, Seaford and Blades, Del. joined Dorchester County displays for an enormous array of creativity and excitement. Volunteers from fire companies in Hurlock, East New Market, Preston, Eldorado, Cambridge, and Blades participated; area politicians who won elections in November included: North county councilman Rick Price; Senator-elect Addie Eckardt; plus Delegates-elect Chris Adams (his adorable Corgi with a neck scarf probably got more applause) and Johnny Mautz.
There were pageant winners galore! Hurlock’s own Little Princess Emma Ross was joined by winners from the Veterans Recognition Committee including: Miss Victory Carleigh Fraley; Jr. Miss Victory Rebekah Yockey, and Little Miss Victory Cara Cameron. Riding high were Miss Outdoors Lauren Cameron; Little Miss outdoors Madelyn Hall; and Little Mr. Outdoors Gibby Robinson. Dorchester County Farm Bureau Ambassador Mandy Smorgens was followed by Little Farmer 2014 Gavin Weber. An elegant Little Miss Cordova, Calista Freeman, waved regally to the crowd as did Miss Cordova Megan Thornton.

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The Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz Baywater Animal Rescue brought several adoptable dogs to share in the spirit of the day.

Boy scouts, cub scouts, girl scouts, Daisies, and 4-H’ers paraded. Companies paraded. Churches paraded. No parade is complete without a ton of marching bands and Hurlock had them. Bands played from North Dorchester High School and Middle School; Cambridge-South Dorchester High School; and Blades Middle School. There were dancers as well, including: Eastern Shore Dance Academy, ABM Dance Team, and Last Days Ministry.
A “wow” entry from Seaford Concrete Products drew applause. A red and white concrete mixer sported a large inflatable Santa Claus atop the cab and eight reindeer attached to the chute seemed to pull Santa’s sleigh.
After the parade the celebration continued at the Hurlock American Legion which sponsored the Festival of Trees and Wreaths and offered soup, hot dogs, drinks and desserts.
A hall-filling craft and collectibles bazaar at the Hurlock Volunteer Fire Company engine bay was adjacent to a room filled with children anxious to have their pictures taken with Santa and hear Mrs. Claus, aka Holliday the clown, tell stories. Mayor Spratt said, “It couldn’t have been a more perfect day, between the parade and the success at the fire house. There were 150 children who got their pictures taken with Santa Claus.”
According to the Mayor and Town Administrator John Avery, next year’s Christmas party will be “bigger and better and will raise at least $10,000 from the Tree and Wreath Auction.” Mr. Avery thanked all the volunteers “who put in the time to make the event such a success,” like John Stitchberry and Maria Bono plus town employees Terri Era, Bobbie Jo Bell, and Kari Harper.
Ms. Spratt invited the public to attend the town’s Open House Christmas Party on Dec. 20 at the American Legion Post 243 at 8 p.m. The event, which is “staying local” according to the mayor, will feature a band, food, and fellowship.
On Dec. 23 Christmas Carolers will ride through town with Santa with refreshments at the train station afterward.  Merry Christmas!

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The Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz The Grinch couldn’t steal Christmas at this year’s Hurlock parade.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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