Parade marches in December snow

HURLOCK — The unusual weekend snowstorm could have ruined the Hurlock parade this year. But it didn’t! Mayor Henry and his Christmas elves celebrated on the pre-scheduled rain date – Dec. 10. Although a smaller crowd than previous years enjoyed the parade, they were nonetheless just as enthusiastic. Radio personality Shane Walker, from 106.3fm, “the Heat,” described the participants and offered on-the-mark ad libs as well. His non-stop patter was fun!

Mayor Michael Henry said, “You could really feel the community and Christmas spirit today.” He gave special thanks to Santa Claus “who took time out of his busy schedule to spend the day in Hurlock.”

When Councilman Earl Murphy said his wife was a “reindeer,” it was hard to know what to expect. He was right. Michelle Murphy had a tip to toe brown reindeer “onesie” on that looked very warm and comfortable.

On Sunday afternoon the Hurlock Volunteer Fire Co. (HVFC) Auxiliary sponsored Cookies with Santa. Linda Dukes said the group has “been very active. I’ve enjoyed it though. That’s what Christmas is about … Bringing families together.” Jane Coulbourne explained the group had sponsored the event in the past “so we were able to put it together very quickly.” The two women and Bobbie Aaron sold raffle tickets to raise funds for the company’s Christmas Santa Run.

The change in days offered a challenge. It meant notifying almost 100 parade participants about the change but Councilman Earl Murphy said with a remarkable number of volunteers they all were notified.

The snow precluded the school bands from marching since all weekend activities were cancelled. But the “conversations” of the big trucks talking to each other with high beeps, low beeps, long honks, and short answers sounded like a Broadway musical.

The town council and new Mayor Michael Henry rode in a horse-drawn carriage. And then there were fire trucks. Parading their equipment were volunteer fire companies from: Hurlock, Secretary, East New Market, Cambridge, Church Creek, Trappe, Federalsburg, Eldorado, Seaford, Vienna, and Preston.

Lots of law enforcement representatives attended, including McGruff, the Crime Dog. Preston Automotive offered cars for pageant winners to ride in. Entries included: Youth organizations, classic cars, trucking companies, auto body repairs, volunteer groups and tons more.
Dorchester Dumpin’ deserves special mention with its “go all out” decorations again this year.

Political representatives included: Bunky Luffman for Gov. Hogan, State Senator Addie Eckardt (wearing a pink Santa cap of course), state delegates Chris Adams and Johnny Mautz; and County Councilman Rick Price.

Riding in B.J. and Amber Truxon’s 5 ton military truck were Town Marshal Bobby Wright and Grand Marshal Earl Richmond. Mr. Wright, a Hurlock resident for over 65 years, initiated local Little League Baseball in 1950. It is known today as “Tri City Little League.” Mr. Richmond, the oldest living veteran in town, was born in 1925. He served in the Pacific during WWII on PT Boat 108, an 80’ Elco class.

… and then, there was Santa Claus, riding in a beautiful white carriage. A carriage and a handsome black horse never fail to end the Hurlock parade on a wonderful note.

A new feature that brings back memories was the “Wheatley Tree” next to the train station. William Wheatley organized the first parade and in his memory the tree was decorated with ornaments handcrafted by children.

Mayor Henry and his two grandchildren pushed the button and the tree was lit. The middle school choir could not attend the tree lighting ceremony, but a serendipitous group of teens, the Youth Hurlock Singers, quickly formed on their own to sing Christmas carols.
A fitting end to a Christmas event.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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