Category Archives: HOLIDAYS

‘Christmas in the County’ resounding success!

Representing Broad Creek Christian Church, Mike Marsh (left) and Jack Brooks, present a check for $3,000 to HOPE Clinic executive director, Sheri Rettew.

By Mike Marsh

PAMLICO COUNTY – Wow! That’s the consensus of folks at Broad Creek Christian Church after the congregation’s first ever ‘Christmas in the County’ old-time celebration, where all comers were invited!

Sheri Rettew, executive director of HOPE Clinic, said the event’s donation of $3,000 translates into health care for 50 people over an entire year at HOPE Clinic!

This event owes so much gratitude to the many folks who made it happen. A very special thank you goes out to Pamlico Community College President, Dr. Jim Ross and his staff – especially to Jane and Barbara, George and Herman. We could not have done it without you guys!

A big thank you also to some of Pamlico County’s finest for providing a blue light presence on Highway 306 to keep everyone safe as they came to, and went from, the event on the coldest night of the year so far!

No Christmas event would be complete without a visit from Santa! We had one of the best in Mr. Barry Monk, proprietor of Aggies in Bayboro. Barry took time away from work to help us celebrate Christmas and thrill the kids. He also exemplified the true meaning of Christmas as he knelt down at the manger as people exited. Thanks, Barry!

It would be impossible to put on an event of this nature without the support folks that made it all come together.

To the ladies of Broad Creek who churned out 60 dozen cookies, and then stood in the cold to pass them out; to the set designers, builders and painters; to the prettiest bunch of elves ever assembled in one location; to all of the cast and the band; to the behind the scene set guys who made commercial Christmas disappear — and a manger appear — during the presentation – and then made everything disappear in under an hour after the show! We say: “Thank you!”!

To Jeff and the fine folks at the County Compass for generating that really neat back-page display that ran for four weeks – super job! And lastly, to the leadership at Broad Creek Christian Church for going above and beyond what is normally expected of them to reach out into the county that we service in a meaningful way – THANK YOU!

Mark your calendars now for 9 December, 2017. We will see you all there at the Delamar Center at 5:30 p.m. for the second annual Christmas in the County!

The Spirit of Christmas Polar Express

December 9th & 10th, 2016
An Oriental Christmas Since 1986

Each year the merchants, churches, townspeople and civic groups unite to present this heartwarming event in the spirit of giving and as a way to say “thank you” for support during the year.

Please come join us for holiday treats, entertainment and specials throughout town. Enjoy the Friday evening boat flotilla, the Saturday afternoon parade and revel in the beauty of our Town as luminaries light the streets at dusk after the parade.

This program is packed full of wonderful activities, many of which are gong on simultaneously. Please read the entire program so that you don’t miss anything. We have included a special thank you, at the very end of the program, listing our “silent” supporters without whom we simply could not have accomplished this wonderful weekend.

All of us say “Welcome Home for the Holiday”. To old and new friends, from out of town, we hope you enjoy Oriental and come back to visit or perhaps stay for good. To our local friends and neighbors, we thank you for your support year round.

This year Spirit Of Christmas is partnering with Heartworks. Donations towards Christmas dinners for area families in need are appreciated and encouraged. Drop off non-perishable food items at Marsha’s Cottage, Oriental Hardware or Nautical Wheelers between now and the day of the parade.

Spirit of Christmas – Polar Express Schedule

Download and Print Schedule

Download and Print Schedule

‘Christmas in the County’ set for Dec. 10

Traditional, old-fashioned celebration for entire family

By Mike Marsh

PAMLICO COUNTY — Wouldn’t it be great if Christmas weren’t so hectic? More like Christmas when you were a kid? Think back to past Christmases when life slowed down a bit and we took a break from our normal work schedules to celebrate with family and our neighbors!

There was just something special about the holidays when everyone in the community was a little more caring, a little more giving, a little more joyful than normal.

This year, your friends at Broad Creek Christian Church want to invite you to celebrate Christmas like you remember! Christmas in the County, on the campus of Pamlico Community College, will transform the school’s fabulous Delamar Center into a Christmas wonderland!

This is a free community celebration on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 5:30 pm. The Christmas spirit will be felt and heard the minute you and your family leave the car. You will walk past Christmas trees and carolers…and through falling snow! Once inside everyone will sing along to familiar Christmas carols and share a few laughs to bring out the joy in all of us.

We’re even expecting Santa to take time out of his busy schedule to stop by. And because we all like to give back a little during the holiday season…Christmas in the County will also provide an opportunity for you to donate to the Hope Clinic in Pamlico County (

Hope Clinic provides free healthcare to those who need a little help in Pamlico County and the surrounding communities. They provided more than $4.9 million worth of free healthcare last year including doctor appointments, laboratory diagnostic testing, and prescription medication.

Before you head home, Broad Creek Christian Church will have a gift for each of you and goodies of hot chocolate and cookies – giving you time to visit a few of your neighbors and wish them a Merry Christmas. Don’t miss this chance to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with your family and neighbors at Christmas in the County.

Happy Turkey-Giving!

Matthew 25:35 For I was hungered, and ye gave me meal; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

Isaiah and Gibbs (along with others) hefted many a bird Saturday morning.

Isaiah and Gibbs (along with others) hefted many a bird Saturday morning.

news1-happy-pic-2BAYBORO – For the second consecutive year, the congregations of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Merritt, and St. Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Maribel joined forces Saturday morning to distribute frozen turkeys to deserving folks who showed up shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Pamlico Medical Center. According to Armandez L. Crawford, who pastors both churches, the event is a rewarding experience for all concerned. “We want to thank Walmart of Grantsboro for all their help in supplying 200 turkeys,” said Crawford, “and special thanks to Marvin Murray, who contributed 100 pounds of collards.”

On Sunday, the Hi-Lites Cheerleaders of Pamlico County, took time out to show their love for two area families. “It was a vision that was set in our heart to find two families in the county to donate a basket of love for Thanksgiving,” said. Jackie Johnson, coach and owner of Hi-Lites Cheerleaders instruction program.

Ms. Nancy Grose of Grantsboro (top pic) and Ms. Jeanie Credle of Bayboro each received a turkey and all the trimmings for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. There were tears of joy, smiles, and hugs during the giving of the Thanksgiving basket. The recipients expressed their gratitude, and the young cheerleaders certainly learned the true meaning of love and giving back during the Holidays.

Upcoming events for Hi-Lites Cheerleaders:

  • Dec. 3, 2016—–Cheer Competition in Raleigh, NC
  • Dec. 17, 2016—-Bayboro, Parade
  • Jan. 21, 2017—–Cheer Competition in Richmond, Va
  • March 17-19, 2017—–Cheer Competition in Myrtle Beach, SC

Veterans Day Parade

tcc110916p1aBAYBORO – The 15th Annual Veterans Day Parade of Pamlico County begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, along Hwy. 55 in Bayboro.

Following the parade at approximately 11 a.m., the 21st Annual Veterans Luncheon and Ceremony, hosted by the Pamlico County Veterans Council, is open to all Pamlico County veterans, their wives, and widows of veterans with proof of husband’s service. Participants in the parade from outside Pamlico – who are veterans – may also attend.

The event is scheduled for the Fred A. Anderson Elementary School on Anderson Drive in Bayboro, across from the high school athletic field. Luncheon guests are asked to remain seated until the formal ceremony concludes. We hope to have the County Service Officer, and the unit officers, remain to answer questions about joining their organizations.

As usual, the parade lineup begins at Neals Creek Road and travels east along Hwy. 55 to First Street, just past the Post Office.

After the luncheon, and for more information, contact the Veterans Service Officer for Pamlico County. Or, call (252) 745-8086 Monday thru Wednesday.

City of New Bern Independence Day festivities


Colleen M. Roberts
Public Information Officer & Brand Manager
City of New Bern

The City is hosting a patriotic celebration this Independence Day. Residents and visitors are invited to enjoy the downtown festivities, capped off by a spectacular fireworks display in the evening. There will be events in Union Point Park during the afternoon and evening, and fireworks will be launched from Lawson Creek Park that can be viewed from Union Point Park, the downtown waterfront area, and Lawson Creek Park.

The day begins at Union Point Park with the 5th Annual New Bern Run for the Warriors. This 5k race begins at 7:30 a.m. and is dedicated to the men and women wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, their families, and the families of the fallen. Log on to for more information.

The streets of Union Point Park are closed to vehicular traffic from 11 p.m. Sunday, July 3rd through 11 p.m. Monday, July 4th. The park opens at 4 p.m. Monday for visitors to come enjoy our misting tent, fossil dig, and food and beverage vendors. From 6-7:30 p.m., the MCAS Cherry Point 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band will entertain the crowd with patriotic tunes from the park gazebo. After their performance, a deejay will play music and host dance contests and games until the fireworks show begins around 9:15 p.m. The fireworks will be launched from Lawson Creek Park.

Lawson Creek Park is also open to visitors this holiday weekend as a picnic area and fireworks viewing location. Boat launch #2 (at the east end of the park) and Jack’s Island are closed from 11 p.m. Sunday, July 3rd through 11 p.m. Monday, July 4th, and will be used to secure the fireworks launch site. Boat launch #1 (near the multi-purpose field) will be open until 6 p.m.

Monday for boaters, kayakers, and paddleboarders who wish to get on the water. Note that the boat ramp will be closed from 6 p.m. until after the fireworks show.

Visitors are welcome to bring coolers, blankets and lawn chairs to both event locations and tailgate items to Lawson Creek Park. However, alcohol, glass, fireworks, pets, weapons, and concealed carry weapons are not permitted at either location. Service animals are permitted pursuant to city ordinance Section 6-5. Bicyclists are asked to refrain from riding their bikes inside the parks.

“The two locations give visitors more waterfront options for celebrating Independence Day with family and friends in two of our most popular parks,” said City Manager Mark Stephens. “We are looking forward to great weather, huge crowds and a fun Independence Day celebration.”

Traffic will be managed to get everyone in and out of downtown and Lawson Creek Park as expeditiously as possible. There will be no restrictions on traffic prior to the fireworks show. Handicap parking will be available at each location, and overflow parking for Lawson Creek Park is available at Temple Baptist Church.

Once the fireworks begin, traffic will be managed to ensure expeditious exit from the event locations. If you are leaving downtown, two lanes of traffic will exit over the Alfred Cunningham Bridge, so the bridge will be closed to incoming traffic from 9-10 p.m. Most traffic will be directed east on Broad and out the Cunningham Bridge. Other exit routes include Broad Street and First Street headed west.

To manage Lawson Creek Park traffic, the US Highway 70 West exit to Country Club Road, Pembroke, and Trent Woods will be closed from 9-10 p.m. All traffic will be directed out of the park and turning left towards the US Highway 70 entrance ramps and Country Club Road into Trent Woods and Pembroke. US-17 Business will remain open as an alternate entry point back into the northern parts of town.

“We will have lots of police officers on the roads this holiday weekend,” said Toussaint E. Summers, Jr., Chief of Police. “Please heed the direction of law enforcement. There will be some delays and traffic backups, but we will dismiss traffic as quickly and efficiently as possible from both locations so that everyone can get home safely.”

The City’s rain date for the fireworks is July 5th. Should this rain event be needed, Lawson Creek Park will open from 7 p.m. and the fireworks will begin for a 9 p.m. show.

As a reminder, City offices will be closed on Monday, July 4th. Trash and recycling services will run as normal.

Generous shoppers = Merrier Christmas for seniors

From left, Pamlico County Commissioner Kenny Heath; Senior Center Nutrition Director Beth Hardison; Senior Center Director Violet Ollison; and representing the Grantsboro Walmart: Store Manager Nancy Bass; Personnel Coordinator Kathy Bryant; and Office Associate Dianna Wetherell.

From left, Pamlico County Commissioner Kenny Heath; Senior Center Nutrition Director Beth Hardison; Senior Center Director Violet Ollison; and representing the Grantsboro Walmart: Store Manager Nancy Bass; Personnel Coordinator Kathy Bryant; and Office Associate Dianna Wetherell.

ALLIANCE – The power of networking played out in spades Monday morning when Pamlico County Commissioner Kenny Heath pulled his pickup truck into the parking lot of the Senior Services Center, loaded to the max with a variety of food items – freshly pulled from the shelves of the Grantsboro Walmart.

Less than a week earlier, Heath met Store Manager Nancy Bass at the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party.
Bass, who arrived at her new post in late November, fielded a flurry of questions from Heath – an eager beaver who is always intent to uncover relationships that benefit all involved.

Bass told Heath that checkout cashiers at the Grantsboro Walmart were gently suggesting to every shopper that a $5 ‘Feed the Needy’ donation would immediately fund a cardboard box of nutritious foodstuffs – and that the items would be earmarked for Pamlico County low-income recipients during the holiday season.

“The minute a shopper makes a $5 donation at the Grantsboro Walmart, one or more of our employees grab an empty cardboard box and pull items from an approved list,” explained Bass. “Then, those boxes are held for one of several nonprofits that assist those in need.”

So, as you might expect, Heath showed up Monday morning bright and early at the Grantsboro Walmart with an empty pickup – but only after he went in the store and spent a cool $50 – good for another ten boxes of food items.

A short time later at the Senior Services Center, Director Violet Ollison and Nutrition Director Beth Hardison greeted Heath with open arms and big smiles!

“This is something we can really use, especially this time of year,” said Ollison.

As for Heath, he has got more tricks up his sleeve.

“I’m thinking about challenging the other six county commissioners to do something similar,” he chuckled. “This really is a great concept, and I am happy to be a part of it.”

ATTENTION SHOPPERS: If you find yourself in the Grantsboro Walmart, spring for a ‘fiver’ when the checkout person mentions the ‘Feed the Needy’ effort. But hurry! The popular promotion ends Dec. 20.

Cross adorns Log Cabin Church

By Joan Rowe

NEWS1-Cross-pic-1GRANTSBORO — New Life Praise and Worship Ministries now hangs a cross on the front the building, known to many in the community as the “Log Cabin Church.” It is the unique craftsmanship of county native, Jamey Lupton, a local contractor, who spent hours roaming the riverbank for just the right cedar trees. He had them planed and kiln-dried.

Meticulously he grooved the wood so it would fit together into the shape of a cross. Wanting it to be as authentic as possible, Lupton searched for local railroad spikes – symbolic of the three nails on the cross.

Our church acclaims Jamey Lupton for his fine work and proudly presents its beauty.

It is Easter time. May our thoughts be about the cross and what took place over 2,000 years ago. Jesus died, was placed in a tomb, and miraculously arose from the grave. He now lives in the hearts of believers. Do you believe?

Sisters promote annual Toy Drive


PAMLICO COUNTY – Sisters Meg Anderson, 15, (far left) and Annie Anderson, almost 13, (far right) have certainly done their part over the past 11 years, posing annually for publicity photos, to promote ‘Toys for Pamlico Kids.’

In recent years, the pair have been joined by two new siblings – Madison Anderson, 7, and Molly Holloway, 5, making the quartet of Santa’s elves a formidable toy-collecting force!

The youngsters want everyone to contribute. And, as the economy has begun to recover from the Great Recession, organizers are hoping for the best year ever!

Please drop off an unwrapped toy or educational game, suitable for newborn to 18 years old, at the following locations:

  • Department of Social Services Alliance

  • Arapahoe Charter School Arapahoe

  • Sea Gull & Seafarer Arapahoe

  • HeartWorks Bayboro

  • Pamlico County Public Library Bayboro

  • Piggly Wiggly Grantsboro

  • First South Bank Grantsboro

  • The Pamlico News Oriental

  • Inland Waterway Provision Company Oriental

For more information, or to make a monetary donation, please call the Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce at (252) 745-3008.

Handle Bar parade something to brag about

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

PAGE-9-Logo-imageBEAUFORT – The Handle Bar, well known in this town for fun, frivolity, and of course drinking, hosts what the club bills as “The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”

The event, scheduled for 3 p.m. on Monday, March 17, features Tammy Dorantich, who will lead the procession riding her huge Bergeron. The massive white horse weighs a whopping 2,400 pounds, and responds to the affectionate name of ‘Tiny.’

Whatever you do, don’t lift the necktie of the stuffed toy Leprechaun. The little guy with PAGE-9-Leprechaun-picone large working part has become something of a legend whenever St. Patrick’s Day rolls around.

Two years ago, the Handle Bar was bumped from its long-term location near the town’s drawbridge. Making way for a new high rise put owners Carol and Danny in a bit of a quandary, as they cast about town for a new location.

They finally settled on a Wellons Road location – well back from heavily traveled Hwy. 70. However, the new spot is easy to find. Just turn at the Hess Station and head straight. Everyone’s invited to the parade. Don’t be late. After all, the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade won’t last long.