In this parade, the floats really did float!
The sailing craft were part of the third annual Lake Norman Christmas Flotilla and Parade Dec. 7th.
Parade Marshal Mark Hamilton and other boat owners hurriedly strung lights on his 30-foot 1980 Catalina sailboat named “Freedom” before the skippers’ meeting. The chilly weather and brisk wind had cut down on the number of boats, but it didn’t dampen Hamilton’s Christmas spirit: He was to lead the parade.
The Lake Norman Yacht Club Keelboat Fleet hosted the parade in Mooresville, but anyone could enter. Although entry was free, the organizers asked each participant to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys For Tots.
“We overfilled two large barrels with toys,” Hamilton said. “It was a great night, with the sailing community coming together for a great cause.”
Richard Jones and Sandy Kimbrell were checking lights as they put the finishing touches on the 1982 S2 sailboat “Outrageous.”
With a large face of the cat from “The Cat in the Hat” and other props from the book – including Thing 1 and Thing 2 – Jones had named their float “Cattitude.” Jones spelled the name in red lights with all capital letters on the side of the boat.
Mark Cameron donned a Santa suit and climbed aboard Tim Lockhart’s SeaRay 380. “Merry Christmas” was spelled out in red lights on the side, and a lighted snowman was on the back. It was to be the final float in the parade.
As darkness fell, boats from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Lake Patrol, Iredell County Sheriff Lake Patrol, Lake Norman Fire Department and Cornelius Fire Department escorted the fleet to gather close to the Lake Norman Yacht Club.
Once the order was established, the seven sailboats – along with the J.S. Livingstone, a Parker 2120 power boat from the yacht club – led Santa’s float across the lake to the Rusty Rudder, a lakeside restaurant in Cornelius, for review and judging.
Each boat paraded and turned around in the cove. Some spectators had gathered at the water level on the docks for a closer view.
Each float’s crew shouted its number and seasonal greetings as they passed the docks for judging, their colorful displays reflecting off the calmer water in the cove.
After Santa arrived and wished everyone a Merry Christmas, the fleet gathered and headed back across the lake to the launching point.
The boat “Outrageous” won the $250 gift certificate for the best-decorated boat with its “The Cat in the Hat” theme. The skippers returned to the yacht club for refreshments, prizes and chili to chase away the cold.
Are you looking for a home on BEAUTIFUL & FUN Lake Norman? The Temple Team can help you find the home of your dreams! Give us a call at 704-235-3000 or visit our website at www.TheTempleTeam.com.
*Excerpts taken from article written by Marty Price and published in the Lake Norman News section of the Charlotte Observer.