Special float hosts 60’s homecoming queens

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Alumni of Dunbar High School can look forward to a special float in this year’s 50th edition of the Holiday Caravan.
The float, “Dunbar Queens of the ’60s,” will include several of the old high school’s homecoming queens from that decade.
In each of the early holiday parades through Spencer and Salisbury, beginning in 1960, Dunbar was represented by its band and majorettes, under the direction of Robert L. Hunt.
Hunt died in 2008.
“The high-stepping and sweet strong sound from their musical instruments had an impact on many viewers, which caused them to talk about the band’s performance for months,” said Donald “Duck” Sturdivant, a 1973 North Rowan graduate who has led efforts to have the Dunbar float this year.
Sturdivant said he first talked about the idea earlier this years with the Richard Perkins, who long oversaw the parade as head of Rowan Business Alliance. Perkins died earlier this year.
Sturdivant has been involved with the Holiday Caravan float of his church, Dorsett Chapel United Church of Christ, for the past six years.
When integration came, Dunbar High, located in East Spencer, was absorbed into North Rowan High.
The women who will be on the Dunbar float ó all homecoming queens from the 60s ó will include Judy Heath Pringle of South Carolina; Brenda Stout Venning, Sandra Krider Smith, Sandra Witherspoon Corpening and Dephelia Henderson Jefferies, all of Rowan County; and Sheila Russell Williams of Baltimore.
Sarah Turner Kendricks of Atlanta has donated money toward the parade entry, but she will not be able to attend, Sturdivant said.
Wednesday’s Holiday Caravan will start at 2 p.m. in Spencer and 3 p.m. in Salisbury.