Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

December 14, 2012

Alligator River NWR Shows off New Photo/Observation Blind during Manteo Christmas Parade

Following a tradition held for many years, staff and volunteers from Alligator River and Pea Island refuges got up early on a recent Saturday morning to participate in the annual Manteo Christmas Parade in Manteo, NC.  Each year one of the visitor services staff dream up a theme for the “float”.  This year we decided to feature the new mobile photo/observation blind that was built and donated by the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society.  The accessible blind is moved to various spots on the refuge so visitors may get a better look at the various critters living on the refuge.  Since there were hundreds of parade-goers as a captive audience, they also hung banners from the new National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center on the vehicle pulling the blind.  With an intern, high-school volunteer and a refuge planner dressed in critter costumes walking along side, the blind made its way through the streets of downtown Manteo.  Children lined the streets with their parents waiting for candy to be dropped into their bags.  Another staff member and volunteer rode inside the blind with a camera and spotting scope set up.  As always, the hit of the float was the critters.  The children especially enjoyed having their picture taken being hugged by the alligator, sea turtle and red wolf.  

Submitted by Cindy Heffley, Visitor Services Specialist, Alligator River and Pea Island NWRs, Manteo, NC.

Christmas Parade
Visitor Center Manager Susie Kowlok, accompanied by her grandson Luke, hands out candy to the hundreds of parade watchers.  
Photo Credit: Tracy Rock/USFWS.

Christmas Parade
The red wolf gets a hug from one of the many children along the parade route.  
Photo Credit: Tracy Rock/USFWS.

Christmas Parade
The alligator gets a “high five” from one of the children along the parade route.  
Photo Credit: Tracy Rock/USFWS.

Christmas Parade
Visitor Services Specialist Cindy Heffley and the sea turtle wait for the parade to begin.  
Photo Credit: Tracy Rock/USFWS.

Christmas Parade
Volunteers and staff prior to the parade beginning.  
Photo Credit: Howard Rock/USFWS.

Christmas Parade
Critters prior to the parade showing off the photo/observation blind.
Photo Credit: Cindy Heffley/USFWS.