The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


November 26, 2012

Conetoe comes together for second Christmas parade


CONETOE — Conetoe residents got into the holiday spirit Saturday morning at the town’s second annual Christmas parade. While the parade wasn’t as big as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day fanfare in New York City, the residents of the small town of Conetoe showed their enthusiasm all the same.

“I was impressed. It was bigger than I expected. I think it’s created a lot of enthusiasm,” said Liz Whitfield, a Conetoe native who watched the parade with her daughter-in-law, Wendy McLawhorn, and her 2-year-old granddaughter, Madeline McLawhorn. Her 4-year-old grandson, Marshall McLawhorn, rode on the Penders Missionary Baptist Church float with other children.

“You’ve got a whole other generation to grow it [the parade] up,” Whitfield said. “It lets people know we’re on the map.”

If the town gave out an award for most original float, George Hopkins would have won the prize. He waved at the children on the sides of the road from his purple float, which he made from scrap metal, parts off a golf cart, and a four-wheeler.

“I make stuff about every year for the parade. Kids like little stuff like that,” Hopkins said.

Fire trucks, horses and Santa Claus were other features in the Christmas parade.

Jacalyn Davis waved at the fire department members as they passed by her on their trucks and thanked them for “keeping us safe.” The Tarboro resident called the parade “short but nice.”

“Even in the cold weather, I think they had a great turnout,” Davis said.

“I see a lot of different faces this year. Every year gets better and better,” said Conetoe Mayor Linda Ingram. She estimated between 30 and 35 units participated in this year’s parade, and the only drawback was not having a marching band.

“We had more fire trucks than we anticipated,” Ingram said. “We took a different route this year. We want to try to accommodate everybody the best way we can.” The reason for the new route was to pass by the homes of senior citizens who would not have been able to see the parade otherwise. The parade began at Conetoe Chapel Church on Factory Street and ended at the town park on Roberson Drive, where the celebration continued with a fall festival.

Bobbie Rickman and Raye Gooch were among the residents who sat in their front yard and watched the parade.

“I think it’s very needed,” said Gooch of the parade. “The little town of Conetoe used to be a booming town. It needs to be built up like it used to be.”

Jackay Pettaway, a Conetoe native, returned to her hometown on Saturday to watch the parade. She walked around with her cart of candy apples and stopped to speak to people along the parade route.

“It’s about time Conetoe did something to show its strength,” Pettaway said. “A whole lot of people do not know where Conetoe is.”

Pettaway wasn’t the only Conetoe native who came home for the parade and fall festival. Berna Worsley, who now lives in Charlotte, said she was “glad to be back in my hometown to see the progress they are making.”

“The community is working together, for one cause now,” Worsley said. “A town united.”

Rev. Richard Joyner, pastor of Conetoe Chapel Church, also commented that Saturday’s celebration brought the town together. He rode with Ingram in the parade.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for social collaboration within the community,” Joyner said. “It unites us across all boundaries.”

Ingram said the purpose of the parade and fall festival is to spur growth, something that hasn’t happened in Conetoe for a long time. She said the town’s leadership is taking things “one thing at a time and one day at a time” to strengthen and grow the community.


Text Only
cop death.jpg

Investigators look over the scene of an accident involving a North Carolina Department of Transportation excavator truck and a van that was driven by an off duty police officer, Charles Johnson Tuesday morning on NC 111 in Tarboro. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Local News
Our Community
Staton Dupree.jpg

Tarboro Vikings sophomore Staton Dupree gets a base hit in the third inning Monday night against the North Pitt Panthers. North Pitt defeated Tarboro 9-3.

  • The legacy of Joe W. Dickens Jr.'s dash

    Joe W. Dickens Jr.
    Sept. 14, 1953 - March 21, 2014
    The above statement is profound in its own way. It signifies the birth and the death of one of the most influential men in Edgecombe Coun

    March 31, 2014

  • Bones-final-cover.jpg Local librarian pens first novel

    Roman Leary, director at Edgecombe County Memorial Library, has written his first novel – “Six Days of the Dragon.”

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos

Obituaries Archives

    Edgecombe Events must be submitted by noon the day before publication. Items eligible include notices of local meetings and activities of non-profit organizations, clubs, schools and civic groups in the community. Information should be brief and typewritten, neatly printed or via  e-mail. For questions call 252-823-3106 or

    April 16, 2014

CNHI Network News
AP Video