Register Now to Participate in the Julington Creek Light Parade | Community Spirit

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Register Now to Participate in the Julington Creek Light Parade

 

Ahoy there and Ho Ho Ho!  The holiday spirit comes to the creek this time of year. If you peer out your car windows heading north across the Julington Creek Bridge the last couple of weeks in November you can see many “Captain” Santa’s.  They are decorating their vessels in hopes of a good clear night and low tides for sailing in the 2011 Christmas on the Creek light parade.

The annual holiday event, sponsored by the Julington Creek Prop Club, is scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd this year.  Commodore George Sample is extending an invitation to any boat owners interested in decorating their boat and joining in for the fun to contact him at gsample335@aol.com for more information.

“The more the merrier” says Sample.  The best decorated boat gets a $300 cash prize while second place gets $200 and third place $100. 

“We expect a great turn out for this year’s parade, as the light parade in downtown Jacksonville has been cancelled due to lack of funds,” adds Sample.

Established in 1988, the parade has an estimated 40 powerboats lined up for the event.  Boats decked out in all their holiday finery motor the parade route which begins at The Marina at Julington Creek, goes underneath the bridges and motors around Bulls Bay, then returns under the bridge and continues down Durbin Creek.  Spectators can view it from the Julington Creek Bridge walkways.

Homeowners with docks located on the parade route are invited to join in the fun too!  Decorated docks can vie for a variety of prizes including cash and goodie bags.  Tradition holds that the boaters judge the docks.  “The people along the shores of the creek plan that night for their holiday parties,” Sample says, “we have people shooting fireworks over the boats, some docks have as many as 100 folks on them waving and shouting Merry Christmas.”  The land lubbers have as much fun as the boaters!

There is a lot of planning and organizing prep work done before these ships sail.  The Prop Club starts in October each year contacting boaters, area merchants and residents gathering donations for the event.  Approximately one half of the boats participating in the parade are Prop Club members, the other half of the boats come from all over the area.  Boats range in size from 19 feet to 50 feet in length.  Ironically the top prize winner last year was a “John” boat lite up like a dragon complete with flames shooting from his mouth.  Some adjustments have to be made to the vessels to help provide the power needed for such a large number of lights.  Some boat owners make their presentation a work in progress, adding more decorations each year for an over the top effect.

The Prop Club is a social organization of boaters from The Marina at Julington Creek.  They meet each month on the second Saturday evening at 7PM at the dock; all interested boaters are invited to join for boating information and fun at the creek!  Annual dues provide most of the funds for the “Christmas on the Creek” event.

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