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Nov. 23, 2017
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Christmas Parade of Lights ups the stakes with Waverunner, other prizes

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
Sparkling lights festoon boats on Lake Lanier for the 2017 Lake Lanier Parade of Boats on Saturday, December 9, as they make their way to Lanier Islands and one of the lake’s treasured holiday traditions. Produced by Lanier Partners of North Georgia, the event raises money for children’s charities – Hall County Sheriff’s Youth Home, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier and Toys 4 Tots.
 
“This year, we’re making the event even bigger by adding some great prizes,” said Barkley Geib, president of Lanier Partners. “Park Marine has made it possible for us to raffle a brand-new Yamaha Waverunner VX and trailer as our raffle grand prize, and anyone can purchase tickets. You don’t need to have a boat in the parade, but – of course – we encourage everyone to come out with their decorated boat, too.” 
 
The organization expects a large number of boats to register this year. “As we did last year, we’re marshaling boats at each of the lake’s marinas for preliminary judging,” Geib said. “Then we’ll assemble on the lake to head to Lanier Islands and Sunset Cove, led by TowBoatUS and the Hall County Sheriffs escort.” 
 
Marinas include Holiday, Holiday-Lazy Days, Aqualand, Baldridge, Habersham, Hideaway Bay, Port Royale, Gainesville, University Yacht Club and Sunrise Cove. Boat-owners with private docks may contact their nearest marina to be included in the marina judging, or they can join the fleets as they assemble in the lake for marshaling. 
 
“The idea is to award as many trophies as possible, based on participation,” Geib said. “For instance, with the individual marina judging, one trophy will be given for each five entries. Then the winners from each marina will be judged for the overall prizes.”
 
Entry fees are $75 for cruisers, pontoon boats and sailboats. Houseboat captains pay $125. All registrants are asked to bring a brand-new unwrapped toy to the event. The registration fee includes two souvenir T-shirts, a captain’s goodies box, a reserved boat slip in Sunset Cove on D, E, or F docks, and a complimentary bus tour of Lanier Islands Magical Nights of Lights on December 9. Houseboats will be provided with alternative open-water mooring. 
 
Spectators can view the parade from LanierWorld and walk the docks at Sunset Cove Marina to view the entries up close and talk with captains and crews. 
 
“People who bring a new unwrapped toy to the gate that night will receive a discount admission for the evening,” Geib said. “And the festivities will continue throughout the evening at Sunset Cove and Lanier World with fun for everyone.” 
 
In addition, the activities with the 25th Annual Magical Nights of Lights will be open, including Holiday Village and visits with Santa. 
 
Raffle tickets are $10 for one, $50 for six or a baker’s dozen 13 for $100 and may be purchased online or from any Lanier Partners Board Member. To register, purchase raffle tickets or for more information, visit www.lakelanierparadeofboats.com.

Posted Online 10/30/17
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