- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce saw its first post-Christmas parade festival in Shallotte as a success.
“We hoped to keep people out after the parade for some family fun,” Kelly Mathews, the chamber’s programs and events director, said Saturday.
As Saturday morning’s annual parade wound down, families made their way to Shallotte Riverside park to see what was offered at the Christmas on the River festival.
“We opened at 11 a.m., but people were trickling in before then and continue to trickle in at a steady pace,” Mathews said. “We’re hoping to get 200 to 300 (people). That would be wonderful and we are well on our way.”
The chamber moved the Brunswick Stew Cook-off from Planet Fun, where it took place indoors in previous years, to the picnic area at the park.
Six Brunswick Stew vendors participated —Tunya and Robert Roundtree from Miracle Temple, Itena Bland and Mark McKeithan from Arbor Landing at Ocean Isle Beach, Ken Blevins of Star News Media, Tracy Bell and Brian McCall of Starz Grille, Sal Rubio from The Grille, and Oren and Pat Knicely of Knicely Done.
Debbie Kinlaw of Shallotte said she enjoyed having the Brunswick Stew Cook-off as part of the new event.
“I love it. It’s a great day. The food is really good and the people are all nice,” Kinlaw said.
Her vote went to Miracle Temple.
“They were all very good, but it was my favorite; very tangy,” Kinlaw said.
Voters sampled all six varieties of Brunswick Stew and selected Knicely Done as the first-place winner, Miracle Temple was second and Arbor Landing at Ocean Isle Beach as third.
Home Depot provided a kids’ workshop to build wooden helicopters, trucks and other small toys.
Amanda Sterowski brought her daughters Ariana and Abrielle out to see what the festival offered.
“We just moved in May from Pennsylvania to Calabash. I try to take the kids out to festivals and craft shows. They probably could’ve used one or two more things for the kids,” Amanda Sterowski said. “It’s nice they have the (pet) adoption. The kids get to see the animals. We did not participate in the stew tasting. My kid asked, ‘What’s stew?’”
After his trip down Main Street on a Shallotte Fire truck, Santa Claus arrived at the park to meet children.
Tera Petty and Chris Crosby brought their kids, Christopher Crosby, Jayden Petty, Payton Petty and baby William Crosby to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.
“The festival was cool. The kids had fun. They had plenty of kids’ stuff—projects for kids. Maybe they could’ve used more vendors,” Tera Petty said.
Mathews said from the feedback she received from Shallotte town representatives, they would continue the Christmas festival next year.
“We got great feedback from the town. They were glad to see people downtown after the parade. We’ll definitely do it again and hope it will grow,” Mathews said.
Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.