The rain, rain went away just in time for Havelock to pull off its 46th annual Christmas parade Saturday morning.
Havelock officials were prepared to call the whole thing off if expected rains became too severe. The decision was made about 7:30 a.m. to go forward when radar from the National Weather Service Office in Newport showed precipitation moving offshore just in time to hold the event.
Grand Marshall Frank Bottorff, a former Marine pilot, Cherry Point base commander and the current Havelock city manager, led about 80 entrants along East Main Street.
While the event may not have had as many spectators due to the threat of rain earlier in the day, many families donned Santa hats to take advantage of the balmy weather in the 60s.
Lee Alan Ungacta, of Havelock, brought his family and friends to Walter B. Jones Park to watch the processional.
“Everybody wants to see Santa Claus,” said Ungacta. “It was fantastic. More floats this year.”
Ungacta felt that the Havelock High School Marching Ram Band, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and the appearance of Santa Claus were his favorite parts of the parade.
Lt. Col. Brian Moll, executive officer of the Cherry Point, was among the dignitaries who rode in the parade.
“I thought it was fun. My kids got to participate and they got to ride with me in one of the cars and hand out candy to the other kids,” said Moll. “I liked the whole thing. The bands I thought were the most fun. The weather turned out great and it was a very good show.”
The 2nd MAW band led off the parade right behind the colors.
“They are great and we are actually going to go see them tomorrow night. They are performing here on base and we are looking forward to that,” said Moll. “They always do a great job.”
Alexandria Lucio, 7, of Havelock, liked seeing all of the floats in the parade.
“I liked how they were decorated. One had elves on the front,” said Lucio.
She and her friends also got to see Santa Claus in a newly refurbished sleigh.
“That was cool because he was Santa and we always wanted to see him,” said Lucio.
Lucio had never been to a parade willed with fire trucks and floats representing the community.
“I think it was pretty awesome,” she said.