I've always wanted to see the Lake Wylie Christmas Boat Parade, an annual tradition with festively lit boats sailing into the night. However, I haven't been able to make it in years past as it is usually scheduled on one of the busiest weekends of the year: the second Saturday in December. It usually conflicts with the Clover Choralier Christmas concert, company parties, and other Lake Wylie events and activities that tend to fill our calendar just before Christmas.
Photos by Jan Todd, Deep Creek Photography
This year, I rearranged my Choralier concert attendance so I could go to the parade. And what fun it was! I took lots of pictures from aboard a large houseboat docked at T-Bones. The night was clear and cool, perfect for getting into the holiday spirit and watching the boats.
The winner was clear from the start: a 32' Trojan Flybridge transformed into a Christmas train, with moving lights synchronized to train inspired tunes such as "The Polar Express" and Blackfoot's "Train, Train". A smokestack on the bow of the boat produced a steady stream of smoke to complete the picture. It was a sight to behold! At the craft headed for the far side of the lake, only the lights were visible and it truly looked like a train chugging across the water.
Brad Thomas of Belmont was the captain of this creation, and easily walked away with first prize. He is a repeat winner, having scored highest for several years in a row. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next!
Second place also went to a repeat contender, Sid Smith of Boyd's Cove. He and his team converted his pontoon boat into a replicate of Santa's Sleigh, with painted wooden sides and lights all around.
There were several other impressive entries as well:
Have a wonderful holiday season on Lake Wylie!