Small town holiday heritage and spirited traditions…..for many of us, this is what it’s all about. I grew up in a small town where locals lined the streets for the Christmas parade with lights strung back and forth across Main Street, where neighbors took turns hosting holiday open houses, and where Grandma always made sure our pockets were stuffed with quarters, never passing by a bell ringer with a red pot! And living in Arlington Place, we now get to give our kids these same magical traditions. Oriental is small, but they do the holidays in a big way! We already got to enjoy Oriental’s annual Spirit of Christmas weekend and the Arlington Place Oyster Roast which really got us all in a festive mood. Some of us will be leaving to visit far away friends and family and others coming back home to Pamlico County, but no matter where the road takes us for Christmas, we are all thankful to be from or to now live in a place where that holiday spirit is very much alive and contagious, and where it’ll be 60 on Christmas Day…who needs snow?!
And next week we get to ring in 2017 right! Oriental definitely has some eventful celebrations, but the annual Running of the Dragon may take top honors. True to it’s namesake, Oriental boasts a forty foot Chinese dragon that comes out of hibernation each New Year’s Eve just after dark to run through the streets of Oriental, flashing it’s fangs and being chased by locals, visitors, and children (of all ages) who bang on pots and pans to chase away any evil spirits. Legend has it that the dragon was first sighted in the sixties and to touch the dragon means an extra does of good luck for you in the coming year! The Dragon Run is followed by the Croaker drop at midnight….yep, I said Croaker perched high on a sailboat mast….how appropriate 😉
And the festivities continue into the new year with the Instead of Football Regatta in Oriental on New Year’s Day. A casual “race” where you can sail or motor…..no one’s really keeping score, it’s just about being on the water on the first day of the year with friends and neighbors. Some might say that we celebrate the holidays a little different down here, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Photo cred to TownDock.net.…the go-to site for all things Oriental!