Annual Oriental Dragon Run brings in the New Year

Annual Oriental Dragon Run brings in the New Year

ORIENTAL, PAMLICO COUNTY - In Eastern North Carolina many people are geared up for New Year's traditions happening in our area.

On Tuesday night Hodges Street in Oriental will be booming with the sound of celebration, as people bring in the New Year wOrith the annual Dragon Run.

"It started with a makeshift dragon with tin cans and streamers and it's evolved into the current dragon which is a very large, ornate and heavy dragon," Oriental Commissioner Charlie Overcash said.

Overcash stores one of the two dragons used in the festival at his home. It's a tradition that has been happening throughout the street of Oriental for more than 40 years.

"It's not only a tradition, but the dragon has been adopted by oriental as its mascot," Overcash said.

He said when the original dragon became too old to perform in the night run along, he ordered another one.

"The dragon is a dancing dragon. It's a Chinese dragon I got from Singapore back in 2010," Overcash explained.

He said it takes seven people to hold the 25 pound dragon as it stretches 43 feet long dancing down the street.

Wendy Osserman choreographed the dances performed by the dragon and says it's all about the movement.

"We just try and keep it as if the dragon is moving like a wave," she said.

"It's supposedly good luck or at least everyone in oriental thinks its good luck to touch the dragon," Overcash said.

The run has two showings, at 8 and 11:30 tonight along Hodges Street.

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