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Yacht club gearing up for Lighted Boat Parade

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The Pasquotank Yacht Club's Lighted Boat Parade will take place on the Pasquotank River off Waterfront Park and Mariners' Wharf Park, Friday starting at 7 p.m.

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From staff reports

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Pasquotank River will again light up for Christmas when Elizabeth City’s annual Lighted Boat Parade is held on Friday.

The parade of sailboats and power boats, organized by the Pasquotank Yacht Club, is set to get underway at the city waterfront at 7 p.m.

Karen Askew, a Pasquotank Yacht Club board member, said the owners of four sailboats, two power boats and one pontoon boat have confirmed participation in this year’s event. However, more boats could join the parade as it gets underway after crossing under the Camden Causeway Bridge, she said.

The parade of boats usually moves in a slow circle on the water in front of Waterfront Park and Mariners’ Wharf Park, where most spectators gather to watch the event. Depending on the number of boats participating and the weather, Askew said the vessels typically make four or five trips around the harbor.

Crowd response also plays a role in the length of the parade, she said.

“We can generally tell by the crowd if we need to go around some more,” she said.

Most boat owners participating in the parade outfitted their vessels with festive lights over the weekend, Askew said. Because the boats have to have a generator on board to run the Christmas lights, “a lot of preparation goes into” getting boats ready for the parade.

Askew, who decks out her sailboat with Christmas lights for the event, said she enjoys participating.

“It’s fun,” she said. “Especially seeing people (onshore) looking at the lights, waving at us and hollering, ‘Merry Christmas.’”

Lighted Boat Parade attendees should also expect to see some lights onshore. Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. will be passing out green and red glow sticks to spectators before the parade starts.

The Pasquotank Yacht Club has been hosting the parade for the past 20 years, but some years it hasn’t been held because of the weather.

No rain is in the forecast for Friday night, but temperatures on the water are expected to be cold, Askew said.

Lighted Boat Parade participants don’t mind the cold, however, because they prepare for it, she said. The parade is also something they enjoy taking part in.

“We just try to keep it going for the community,” Askew said. “It’s something different, and that’s always fun.”

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