Boat parades are a time-honored tradition in communities across the country. In 2010, the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society decided it was time for Huntington to have its own. There are many area residents who don’t have the opportunity to get on a boat and experience water activities first hand, so the parade is a great way to “bring the light to the shore” while raising public awareness about the ongoing preservation efforts at the Lighthouse.
On Saturday November 9th thousands of people lined the shores of Huntington Harbor to view this year’s Christmas Boat Parade. Dozens of Boats were decorated with lights and Christmas decorations. Though the temperature plummeted to the low thirties, you could feel the warmth of the crowd lining the shores to cheer on the decorated boats.
At 6 PM the sirens sounded, drawing our attention to the harbor. People wrapped in blankets drew closer with children in front of parents and grandparents. This parade is an annual tradition for so many families. Not even the cold could keep the Smith family of Huntington from attending. The grandkids were delighted to be adorned with Christmas tree light flashing necklaces and waving glow sticks and spinning lights sold by the street vendors.
The moon beautifully illuminated the harbor. It felt like we had stepped into a Hallmark Movie Channel Christmas movie. Families huddled together for warmth and in celebration of the beginning of the Christmas season.
The Harbor Master and his team were in place to ensure everyone’s safe enjoyment. Dozens of boats sailed through the harbor. Several were decorated in patriotic red, white and blue lights with American flags proudly waving. One particularly popular if not controversial boat flew a Trump 2020 flag along with American flags and red, white and blue lights. As the boat sailed past you could hear the spectators cheer and chant, “Trump, Trump Trump!” The crowds were most excited when a child exclaimed, “I see Santa!” Boats bringing Santa and Christmas to Huntington were greeted by cheers and love. Everyone from age 8 months to 80 years old was a child that night braving the cold to get this season’s first glance of Santa Claus. May I be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas season?