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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Best Lighted Boat Parade

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Based on “A Christmas Story”
(click here if, like me, you have no clue what that’s about).
While Jacksonville envies (my hometown) Portland’s popularity, sometimes their copy exceeds the original. Portland’s Christmas Ship Boat Parade got me hooked, but this year’s Jacksonville post Thanksgiving boat parade kicked butt!

Don’t get me wrong – Wayne and I were especially spoiled our last few years in Portland, where we could watch the boats circle under the railroad bridge from the warm comfort of his folks floating home.  And, like a kiss, you never forget your first.

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My favorite.  The paddles on this Viking ship stroked in unison.
Though lacking Portland’s long, contiguous broad parkways, Jacksonville’s riverfront Fourth of July fireworks and boat parade offer exceptional waterfront viewing for a sizable, yet congenial crowd.  Car-centric JAX may be less pedestrian and mass-transit friendly, but parking was easy, and post-event traffic, minimal.

Overall, the boats were larger and more elaborately decorated.  More boats (40+), more lights, more color, more movement, better sound. 

My favorite was the Viking ship, with lighted paddles stroking in unison. 

Wayne and our friend Ann’s favorite was inspired by the spoofy “A Christmas Story” with a “Major Award” leg-lamp and Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. While Wayne’s exposed me to “Bad Santa,” I never saw “A Christmas Story,” so didn’t get the reference.

jacksonville florida lighted boat parade
Santa on his boat-sleigh…. One of the few float photos
not blurred by speed and bright lights.
The boats whizzed by in St. John river’s brisk current.  Some heeled pretty dramatically as they rounded the bridge stanchions.

And after?  The best danged fireworks I’ve seen!  (Click here for the prior post on Jacksonville’s fireworks).

Sadly, my photos to not do it justice, as the time to learn how to take brightly lit night photos is not using a new camera in the dark.  A few days later, to my chagrin, is when I discovered the night light and firework settings for my camera.

Guess that means you’ll just have to take my word for their splendor – or go to Jacksonville see for yourself!

If you've seen a lighted boat parade, where?  Is it better than Jacksonville's?  Please share!

Location Location

Prescheduled this post as hopefully this time we’ll be underway when you see it, on our way from Sister’s Creek (N30.23.877 W81.27.524), Jacksonville to Stuart / Manatee Pocket, a two-night, three day continuous sail.  Still playing catch-up as getting ready for cruising took so much time there wasn't time enough left for blogging.