Santa listening carefully to a whispered request at the Town of Duck Town Hall.

If the Manteo Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is perfectly small town America, the Town of Duck offers a small town America version with a twist. 

All the elements are there—music, lots of people, kids everywhere and of course Santa Claus.

The difference is that Duck seems to view the tree lighting in a more creative way. Rather than light an evergreen tree, the town has made the decision to honor its history and stack crab pots in a pyramid, drape Christmas lights over them and have a crab pot Christmas tree.

Music—well, for the past few years it’s been the local group  Just Playing Dixieland, which is what they play…and they do it very well.

There’s plenty of hot chocolate, cookies and brownies and a nice touch—it’s all very pet friendly. Dare County SPCA has been on hand since the beginning and they had two really cute rescue dogs waiting for a home.

And then there’s the Duck Santa.

It may not be fair to judge how well Santa does at some locations, but there is something about the Town of Duck and Santa’s appearance there that is special. He certainly dresses in more of an old world style than is usually seen—more of a St. Nicholas look, perhaps. 

What really sets him apart, though, is how he interacts with children. He listens carefully; he’s patient; and there is genuine humor that the kids seem to truly enjoy.

Saturday, then, was a great day in Duck. A little bit different, creative, but very much in the spirit of the holidays.