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Friday, December 11, 2009

12.11- Dragon Run cancelled due to Dragon Hooligans

The "Parade of Lights" flotilla passing out of Whittaker Creek channel
Tonight the traditional "Parade of Lights" boat flotilla kicked off Oriental's annual "Spirit of X-mas" festivities... I will soon have more photos from all of the Spirit of X-mas festivities, so keep a lookout here.

THE BIG NEWS around town today, however, is that another Oriental holiday tradition, the Dragon Run welcoming in the New Year, has been CANCELED.

According to the local weekly Tea-Party-Hannity-Palin 2012 broadsheet, "The County Compass," the Oriental Dragon Society (ODS) has decided that the pre-midnight Running of the Dragon has become too raucous and unruly.

Apparently the unruly mobs of "Dragon Hooligans" that invade Oriental's quiet thoroughfares each New Years Eve caused some damage to the Dragon during last year's run, prompting the ODS to limit the Dragon's appearance this year to its usual warm-up run at 8:00 p.m. ... the early run is popular among the under-10 and over-95 sets due to their early bedtimes.

Last year, the Dragon returned from the 11:30 p.m. run (more popular among the 11-94 y.o. population) missing a few teeth. (see that story as reported by TownDock.Net here)

In the past there was a tradition that touching the Dragon's teeth would bring good luck - but for a number of years this activity has been discouraged by new prophetic revelations that touching the delicate teeth would bring one bad luck.

Old beliefs are hard to change, however, so teeth-touching has continued and last year escalated into teeth-snatching by some of the notorious Dragon-Hooligans who show up for the late-late-late night 11:30 p.m. run.

I whole-heartily condemn those who engaged in the destructive behavior... the Dragon has been a truly wonderful part of Oriental's New Years celebration for about forty years, and the dummies who thought de-toothing it was a good idea were truly idiots. That said, I think ODS has WAY over-reacted, and in the wrong way...

I guess the organizers figure the "raucous" midnight crowd of Dragon-Hooligans is simply too dangerous for the Dragon... I also guess the very impressive Dragon, which the ODS website describes as being constructed of "Styrofoam, sailcloth, paint and sequins" is a lot more valuable an inanimate object than one might suppose from the ingredients...

It must simply be too valuable to actually use in a street celebration...

... even though it was constructed to be used in a street celebration.

Perhaps the ODS could put the Dragon someplace even safer... maybe on permanent display in the Oriental History Museum behind some bullet-proof glass so that everyone can still SEE the Dragon without risking damage to the Dragon or fun for the spectators. Visitors could come and see the Dragon before the 5:00 p.m. museum closing time and still make it to Beaufort or New Bern (or Raleigh or D.C. for that matter) for some NYE fun.

Here is a photo of the type of riotous pre-midnight throng of literally hundreds of Dragon-Hooligans the ODS is worried about:

Literally hundreds of "Dragon-Hooligans" rioting on Hodges St.
(click to enlarge)
It has been speculated that the cancellation of the midnight run is a form of collective punishment by the organizers, who have apparently been shocked, SHOCKED to find out that people touching the Dragon can lead to damage.

The ODS spin on the cancellation is that they "plan to make the 8 p.m. Running of the Dragon an even bigger and better event" and "focus on keeping the New Year's festivities more of a community event," an apparent hint that the ODS suspects the Dragon Hooligans came from outside of Oriental (no further hints of perp profiles have been given.)

Well, good luck with that... In my opinion, making the 8 p.m. "New Years EARLY Eve" celebration "bigger" than the REAL midnight Dragon Run will require busing in several hundred primary school students with their parents... to make it "better" than the REAL midnight run will require some truly innovative thinking and marketing. I personally cannot think of any reason I would want to wind up my celebration of the New Year four hours before it happens.

Of course, the ODS might want to re-think the whole 8 pm run after seeing this evidence of rampant pre-pubescent Dragon-Hooliganism:

A juvenile delinquent Dragon-Hooligan during an "early" Dragon Run two years ago
(click to enlarge)
So all you folks who were thinking of coming to Oriental for a truly fun New Years celebration should start making new plans... Apparently ODS wants to make this an event for 12-and-unders, locals only thank you very much.

I suggest to would-be New Years Eve Oriental visitors instead go to nearby Hobucken to watch some midnight barges hauling phosphate down the ICW... that would be a more exciting New Year's Eve than strolling along an empty and desolate Hodges St. here in the ONC. At least something would be moving.

Local bar/restaurant staff have been disheartened by this latest news, as the Dragon Hooligans have historically provided a much-needed off-season spurt of business while fueling their masochistic anti-Dragon rages with tasty food and beverages.

Rumor has it, however, that the local "Town and Country" grocery store IS stocking up on diapers and juice-boxes in hopes of reaping some profit from the 8 p.m. crowd... if there is one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this sucks.