Christmas has come to the Outer Banks. We know that because the tree lighting was held in Manteo last night and today Santa Claus hopped off a fire truck in Duck to the delight of a lot of kids…and adults too.
In a lot of ways, the Manteo tree lighting and the Duck Christmas celebration are two different ways of ringing in the holiday season. But at their heart, they are very much the same.
Both go to great lengths to celebrate children, family and the true spirit of the season.
And both have lots of hot chocolate and cookies. Manteo does get a nod for the wonderful Brunswick stew the Manteo United Methodist Church hands out every year, but for the kids there’s not a lot of difference.
The Manteo celebration is really all about all things wonderful about small town life. Local dance schools take to the stage. A five member women choir sings a capella Christmas music. The Manteo elementary, middle school and high school choruses take to the state. And of course there is Santa who counts down the lighting of the tree and then hangs around to talk to the kids.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two celebrations is the Christmas tree, or in Duck’s case, the crab pot pyramid in the shape of a Christmas tree.
It is a recognition of the town’s heritage. Long before the first visitor came to the Duck, there was a cluster of homes arranged along Currituck Sound and everyone lived by fishing, hunting and substance farming.
Certainly a far cry from today.
Even though Duck does do many things differently, what happens on the first Saturday of December every year is actually very traditional. There’s live music from Just Playing Dixieland. The First Flight High School Advanced Choir strolled around the town caroling.
And, of course, Santa showed up, in this case in a fire truck.
Santa always seems to be a wonderful, jolly elf, but honestly the Duck Santa may be the best ever. He seems to listen carefully to every child and the children respond remarkably well to him.
There is so much to do on the Outer Banks. Stay with us at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for a week or two and discover why life on this sandbar is so wonderful.