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Nov. 20, 2018
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Registration now open for Parade of Boats

By Pamela A. Keene
 
By the time you read this article it will be less than a month until the 2018 Lake Lanier Parade of Boats. Presented by Lanier Partners, this year’s event is slated for December 8, so you have plenty of time to register at www.lakelanierparadeofboats.com, come up with the design of your boat decorations and rally your family and friends to take place in one of the most colorful events on the lake.
 
Ask Lisa Bond. She was the winner of the Spirit Award in the 2017 parade for her sailboat entry. The slip holder at Sunrise Cove created a huge Christmas tree of multi-colored lights. “We used candy-cane accents on the lifelines and the rub rails had white lights outlining the deck,” said the long-time resident of Snellville who moved here from Hawaii with her husband Stuart and daughter Jeanette. “The Christmas parades in Hawaii were always so beautiful. Stuart always dressed up as Santa and we’d sing Christmas carols, and it was so much fun.”
 
Bond said that the Lake Lanier Parade had been on her family’s radar for a couple of years, but with other obligations, the time wasn’t right until 2017. They decorated their 47-foot Beneteau sailboat, got a generator that actually broke last year, and joined in.
 
“This year we’re already thinking about our design,” she said. “And we’ve got a generator that will work this year, too. I just hope that more sailboats will turn out this year, since there’s a special category for them.” While the family has been planning since mid-October, much of the decorating will be done on the day of the parade. “It will be fast and furious starting early on Saturday morning,” Bond said.
 
While encouraging more sailors to take part, she and her family said they will be glad to have more sailboats on the water this year. After all, the parade is for a good cause. 
 
“We had such a good time at the parade last year that we participated in this summer’s Pirates of Lanier Poker Run, which also benefits children’s charities,” she said. 
 
The 2018 Parade of Boats takes place on Saturday, December 8. This year there will be three categories – cruisers/powerboats, with a $75 per boat registration fee; sailboats, with a $100 per boat registration fee; and houseboats, with a $125 registration fee. Registration includes a courtesy slip, side space or mooring at Margaritaville for the evening, two long-sleeve souvenir T-shirts and a tour of Magical Nights of Lights. Boats will marshal at designated points near each marina and proceed down the lake to Landshark Landing at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands for public viewing and the awards ceremony. Participants from private docks can join in the marshaling area of the marina of their choice.
 
The event raises money for children’s charities, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, Toys for Tots and Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes.
 
Sponsorships for the event are available and include – depending on the level – boat parade entries, raffle tickets plus recognition in the Captain’s Goodie box, brochures and event program.
 
More information and registration forms are available at www.lakelanierparadeofboats.com.
 
“Anytime you can support local causes, especially those that benefit children, it’s good to participate,” she said. “We have a special needs grandson, so children’s organizations are near and dear to our hearts. And it’s all about giving back.”

Posted online 10/29/18
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