Holiday lighted boat parade, fireworks organizing
Boaters are sought to join the 16th annual Islander Holiday Boat Parade Dec. 6.
The Islander is again organizing the event for its second year, reaching out to skippers from all areas to expand the parade spectacle and the prelude of fireworks.
Skippers are encouraged to get their craft into the lineup early for what could be the largest-ever lighted boat parade on Anna Maria waters.
Cash prizes and trophies for best lighted boats in various size categories of power boats and sailboats, a business-sponsor division and a class for "working" boats will be offered by the newspaper and its event sponsors.
The parade this year will begin from two locations at 6 p.m. One parade contingent will gather in Bimini Bay as in years past, motor to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, back to the Key Royale Bridge, then north along the shore to the Rod & Reel Pier and back to the Anna Maria City Pier.
A second (southern) contingent of boats will gather in the Intracoastal Waterway near the Bradenton Beach City Pier on the south side of the Cortez Bridge, traversing north to join up with boaters at the Seafood Shack marina and follow the Intracoastal to the Anna Maria Bridge. It will then continue along the bayfront, passing Kingfish Boat Ramp, the Anna Maria Elementary School, Westbay Point & Moorings, and onward along the bayfront of Key Royale to meet up with the Bimini Bay bunch at the pass at Bimini Bay.
Then it's onward for all the lighted boats to the Anna Maria City Pier, the Rod & Reel Pier and a loop back to the city pier for the finale.
Deep-draft boats which may not be able to traverse the shoreline route from Kingfish to the mouth of Bimini Bay are welcome to join by utilizing the Intracoastal to meet the parade on its route at the Anna Maria City Pier.
Boaters and spectators are invited to the city pier where the parade judges will await the entries. The climax of the event will again be Jim Taylor's Taylor-Made Pyrotechnical fireworks display at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the bay alongside the pier.
Entry forms are provided in this issue of The Islander and at the newspaper office for skippers' convenience.
A captain's meeting will be announced at a later date.
The parade hotline for more information is 778-7978.