Merry Christmas, from Hamlet

 Parade adds horses, Mrs. Claus, and goes off without a hitch under new leadership

By Kevin Spradlin

Photo gallery: – Set 1Set 2

HAMLET — Dozens of floats lined Main Street Hamlet Thursday afternoon and hundreds of people of all ages crowded both sides of the street — and inched ever-closer for that extra piece of candy — at the annual Hamlet Christmas Parade in historic downtown Hamlet.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

It was the first year the parade fell under the direction of the Hamlet Business Development Association, led by Ron Mayo and Kim Lindsey. While it’s likely the two jotted down notes for what they felt didn’t go according to plan. spectators didn’t utter a single audible word of anything but happiness.

“Honor Guard, are you ready,” Mayo shouted at 3:28 p.m., two minutes before the scheduled start of the 50-minute affair. The parade was led by newly appointed Hamlet Police Chief Scott Waters in a sleek black unmarked patrol car, followed by the JROTC unit from Richmond Senior High School. County Commissioner and Hamlet business owner John Garner, who in October was named the Richmond Community College Foundation’s Citizen of the Year, served as Grand Marshal.

The 1.5-mile parade route started at the Hamlet Depot and went up Main Street, turned right onto Rice Street, back down Charlotte Street to Raleigh Street. Many stopped near there and returned to the Hamlet Depot, while other parade entrants continued on along Highway 74 Business to return to the Richmond County Fairgrounds, which was used as the staging area for dozens of floats.

Main Street was creatively dotted with old-fashioned cars, the Cat in the Hat, school groups — including from East Rockingham Elementary School, the Richmond Senior High School JROTC unit, cheer squads from Hamlet and Rohanen middle schools and the Raider Marching Band, among others.

Stephanie Spradlin |

Stephanie Spradlin |

Though not an all-inclusive list, here’s a pretty good idea of who was involved in the parade, (almost) in order of appearance:

* Hamlet Police Chief Scott Waters;
* Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly;
* Richmond Senior High School Army JROTC;
* Grand Marshal John Garner;
* Hoffman Mayor Tommy Hart;
* Scuba Steve;
* Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless with wife, Linda, Councilman Pat Preslar and City Manager Marcus Abernethy;
* Sen. Gene McLaurin;
* Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel;
* Rep. Ken Goodman;
* Emily Tucker, president, Richmond County Chamber of Commerce;
* Councilwoman Angeline K. David, Dobbins Heights;

Stephanie Spradlin | Cascades Tissue was a favorite, throwing not candy but paper towels and toilet paper.

Stephanie Spradlin |
Cascades Tissue was a favorite, throwing not candy but paper towels and toilet paper.

* Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall;
* Physical Awareness and Gymnastics, Hamlet;
* Richmond Senior High School Marching Raider Band;
* County Ranger Matt Gordon, N.C. Forest Service, with Smoky Bear;
* Girl Scouts Troop 213;
* Moore County Sand T’s Shrine Club;
* Sparky the Dog, with the Hamlet Fire Department;
* Master J’s Tae Kwon Do class from The Hive Recreation Center;
* Richmond Cruisers classic cars, including a ’65 Mustang, an ’89 Mustang GT;
* Sonic;
* 2014 Miss Cinderella Mikala Sheyenne Covington;
* G&B Distributing, Hamlet;
* Cowboys youth cheerleaders;
* Cordova Fire & Rescue;
* America’s Teen Miss Richmond County Jennifer Causey;
* Hurricane youth cheerleaders;
* Mt. Carmel Freewill Baptist Church Youth Group;
* Duck Express;
* Tar Heels youth cheerleaders;

Stephanie Spradlin | Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall

Stephanie Spradlin |
Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall

* Northside Volunteer Fire Department;
* Modern Woodmen of America;
* Backpack Pals of Richmond County;
* 29th District Order of the Eastern Star Miss OES Carol McBride;
* Unique Auto Sales, Hamlet;
* Second Baptist Day School, Hamlet;
* Cascades Tissue;
* Girl Scout Troop 543;
* Richmond County Rescue Squad;
* America’s Tiny Miss Richmond County Kenley Smith;
* America’s Junior Miss Richmond County Claire Maultsby;
* America’s Little Miss Richmond County Cate Kinsey;
* East Rockingham Fire Department;
* Hamlet Presbyterian Weekday School;
* Bold Moves Dance Company;
* New Vision Freewill Baptist Church;
* Fellowship United Methodist Church;
* Oakridge Church;
* Richmond Senior High School cheerleaders;
* Richmond County Hospice;
* Rockingham Fire Department;
* McLaurin Vocational Center, Hamlet;
* Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Toys;
* Rohanen Middle School cheerleaders;
* American Red Cross;
* G104 FM;
* Joy Freewill Baptist Church;
* Dance Sensations and Gymnastics;
* Cub Scout Pack 49;
* FirstHealth EMS;
* Richmond County Sheriff’s Office;
* Mabry’s Drugs and Home Care;
* YCOA Rockingham Cheerleading;
* Carolina Hearts Home Care;
* Hamlet Middle School cheerleaders;
* Jimmy McKenzie, Illustrious Potentate, Ouda Temple 147, Maxton;
* Pizza Inn;
* Sandhills Alternative Learning Academy and Big Pine Retreat;
* FastMed Urgent Care;
* Hamlet Middle School Band;
* The National Association of University Women Miss Teenage 2014 Queen Miss Da’Shawn Peterkin and Court;
* WLWL Radio;
* Richmond County Animal Advocates;
* Roberdel Baptist Preschool;
* Pruitt Health, Rockingham;
* East Rockingham Elementary School;
* Community Home Care and Hospice;
* N.C. Highway Patrol;
* Big Rock Sports;
* Quick’s Auto Sales;
* Mrs. Claus; and
* Santa Claus.




Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors

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  • ron mayo


  • andy

    omg what bout them horses tho

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