15th Annual Parade is largest in Mid-Atlantic
15th Annual Parade is longest in Mid-Atlantis
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.