15th An­nual Pa­rade is largest in Mid-At­lantic

15th An­nual Pa­rade is long­est in Mid-At­lantis

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: LISA HAR­LOW

On Satur­day, Novem­ber 24, the place to be is along Mid­dle River for one of the largest boat pa­rades in the countr y. This year marks the 15th an­nual Mid­dle River Lighted Boat Pa­rade, and or­ga­nizer Jim High of Bal­ti­more Boat­ing Cen­ter an­tic­i­pates 80-100 boats to join the fes­tiv­i­ties.

“Pres­ti­gious wa­ter­front com­mu­ni­ties such as An­napo­lis, Solomon’s Is­land, Kent Nar­rows, Alexan­dria Va., and the Bal­ti­more har­bor all have lighted boat pa­rades, and I thought Mid­dle River should have one too. Now, Mid­dle River has grown to be the largest in the Mid-At­lantic — and maybe even the coun­try this year,” said High.

Last year there were 88 boats that par­tic­i­pated in the pa­rade, com­pared to 16 the first year of the event. High said that good weather could play a fac­tor in in­creas­ing that num­ber.

“If we break 100 boats this year, this will be the largest lighted boat pa­rade in the U.S.,” he said.

View­ing is avail­able at each of the four wa­ter­front restau­rants par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pa­rade: Car­son’s Creek­side, River­watch, The Crazy Tuna and Sun­set Cove. Spec­ta­tors can also view the pa­rade from Kingston Park in Hawthorne and Wil­son Point Park.

Cap­tains and their crews try to outdo them­selves each year with their themes and dec­o­ra­tions. “We’ve seen bon­fires, vol­ca­noes, choo choo trains, live na­tiv­ity scenes. Even fire­works be­ing shot off the boats,” said High, who or­ga­nized the event with Pat Wil­li­ford of Stans­bury Yacht Basin.

Each cap­tain who reg­is­ters and par­tic­i­pates will re­ceive a pack­age worth $325 from spon­sors, which in­cludes gift cards from each par­tic­i­pat­ing wa­ter­front res­tau­rant, Pizza John’s, and pad­dle­board and kayak rentals from Bal­ti­more Boat­ing Cen­ter and Stans­bury Yacht Basin. Cap­tains must regis­ter on Eventbrite by Novem­ber 19 to be el­i­gi­ble for the pack­age. There is no fee to en­ter your boat in the pa­rade.

While there is no spe­cific char­ity com­po­nent to the pa­rade, there will be toy boxes at each of the four restau­rants. Vis­i­tors are en­cour­aged to bring a coat or a toy to donate. The San­tas at each lo­ca­tion will then distribute the items through­out the com­mu­nity to their char­ity of choice.

“The Boat Pa­rade and The Crazy Tuna are the best way to start my Hol­i­day Sea­son. I love what I do there, and Su­san, Jeff, and Wayne are fan­tas­tic at bring­ing the best en­ter­tain­ment to the event,” said Brian K. Marchetti, who is Santa at The Crazy Tuna. “If you’re look­ing for a great ex­pe­ri­ence for your fam­ily, Santa and DJ Mark Stone at the Tuna is where you need to be.”

Marchetti will donate the items col­lected at the Tuna to sev­eral lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Eastern Fam­ily Re­source Cen­ter and the Rosedale Amer­i­can Legion.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a great fam­ily event, the Mid­dle River Lighted Boat Pa­rade also helps boost the lo­cal econ­omy.

“The Satur­day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing is the slow­est res­tau­rant night of the year. Every­one is sit­ting home eat­ing left­overs,” said High. “So we chose this night so the com­mu­nity can go out and sup­port our lo­cal restau­rants.”

All pa­rade boats should check in at one of the four restau­rants or Stans­bury Yacht Basin be­fore 5:30 p.m., then pro­ceed to the front of Stans­bury Yacht Basin and along Wil­son Point for the pa­rade start at 5:45 pm. The pa­rade route is as fol­lows. Times are ap­prox­i­mate:

1. Car­son’s Creek­side/ Dark Head Cove/Hawthorne (5:45-6:15)

2. Mid­dle River Yacht Club/Crazy Tuna/River­watch (6-6:30)

3. Mid­dle­bor­ough/Nor­man Creek/Cres­cent Yacht Club (6:15-6:45)

4. Bauern­schmidt Manor/Eastern Yacht Club (6:30-7)

5. Rock­away/Turkey Point (6:40-7:10)

6. Bow­leys Point/Bow­leys Quar­ters (6:50-7:20)

7. Frog Mor­tar Creek/ Sun­set Cove (7-7:45)

8. Back to Stans­bury for Pa­rade Dis­burse­ment (7:45-8:15)

For more in­for­ma­tion or to regis­ter your boat, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mid­dle-riverlighted-boat-pa­rade-tick­ets-51489199582.

15th An­nual Mid­dle River Lighted Boat Pa­rade

Satur­day, Novem­ber 24, 2018

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM View­ing from: Car­son’s Creek­side, River­watch, The Crazy Tuna, Sun­set Cove, Kingston Park and Wil­son Point Park.

PHOTOS BY MARYANN JOHN­SON, COUR­TESY OF THE STANS­BURY YACHT BASIN.

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