Wednesday, July 24, 2024

7th Annual Lighted Boat Parade brings in the Christmas Season


Hundreds of islanders flocked to the beach on the night of Saturday, December 8th to witness and enjoy the seventh annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in San Pedro Town. The boat parade is the first official event that kicks off the Christmas activities on the island. Visitors as well as residents expectantly awaited the boat parade at various docks and along the beach as the colorfully lit boats moved from north to south, lighting up the seas and bringing holiday cheer. The colors, combined with the reflection of the lights along the Caribbean Sea, brought much joy to everyone, especially to the children who oohed and aahed at the pretty twinkling lights that slowly meandered down, many of the boats blowing their horns, loaded with revelers.

Nine boats slowly navigated southwards from the Boca Del Rio Park to Caribbean Villas. Each boat had their own group of enthusiastic and energetic invitees who were cheered by the spectators as the boat parade slowly progressed. A panel of six judges observed the lighted vessels at Holiday Hotel dock as the parade made its way southwards and then returned to the Central Park.

Spectators at the San Pedro Central Park had the opportunity to enjoy Christmas Caroling by Holy Cross Anglican School and Isla Bonita Elementary school children. Food and drinks were on sale, and even island Christmas-themed art work was available for those looking to make some Christmas gift purchases.

At the end of the night the organizers, the San Pedro Business Association, announced the winners to the anxiously awaiting participants and public. Taking the prizes were: 1st Place – El Secreto, $1,500 and the Minister’s Trophy; 2nd Place – Hol Chan Marine Reserve; $750 and the Mayor’s Trophy; 3rd Place – San Pedro AIDS Commission, $500; 4th Place – Blue Tang Inn, $300; 5th Place – Holy Cross Anglican School, $200; 6th Place – Island Academy, $100; 7th Place – Marley Jean, $100; 8th Place – Ecologic Divers, $100; and 9th Place – Miss America, $100. Isla Bonita Elementary School took the top school prize, which was $1000 given by an anonymous donor.
Congratulations to all the winners and participants. The San Pedro Business Association takes the opportunity to thank all those individuals and businesses that help in making the 7th Annual San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade a success.

Lighted Boat Parade Committee Says “Thank You”

Dear Editor,
The San Pedro Business Association would like to thank the following Sponsors of the 7th Annual Lighted Boat Parade.
Grand Sponsor – BTB – Belize Tourism Board, Gold – A kind anonymous donor, Silver – Caribbean Villas Hotel, Wayo’s Beach Bar, Bronze – Fido’s Courtyard, Friend’s of the Parade – Cholo’s Golf Cart Rentals, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sunrise Realty, Blue Water Grill, Caliente Restaurant, Paradise Theater, Pirate’s Pizza, Pedro’s Pizza and Seaduced by Belize.
Special thanks to Caprice Bar and Grill at the Holiday Hotel that hosted the judges. Thanks to Lara Goldman for being the Judge’s organizer. Our judges for the Lighted Boat competition were: Dorian Nuñez, Gerry Badillo, Laurie Norton (Taco Girl), Councilman Severo Guererro, Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mary Gonzalez. A big thank you to the organizers of this event, Rebecca and Elito Arceo, Amanda Syme and Coqui Alamilla.
The judge for the Christmas Caroling competition was Mr Clive Welsh of the Christian Lighthouse Radio station. Thank you to Reef TV and Manuel Media for hosting us on the morning show. Thank you to Jan Brown that started the tradition and has given a guiding hand to the organizers this year. The Christmas Caroling participants were the Holy Cross Anglican School and Isla Bonita Elementary School. The winner was Isla Bonita Elementary School. We hope that next year, other schools will also participate.
There was an awesome display on stage by the Isla Bonita Marching Band and Majorettes. DJ Habo must be commended for his great choice in festive music. Many people were pleased and commented that the music was played at a pleasant level that enabled folks to chat and enjoy the park. Thank you to the Coast Guard for monitoring the event at sea.
The booths this year were: Lions Club, Saga Humane Society, Belizean Melody, Glow Belize Candles, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Brighter Tomorrow Preschool, Casa Picasso Restaurant and the National AIDS Commission.
This event cannot take place without sponsorship or participation. We urge all businesses that directly benefit from this event to please make a donation to next year’s event so that it can be successful. We ask that local charities, businesses and schools consider entering a boat in the parade. And we hope that everyone can find some time during the evening to pass by the park and encourage the schools to participate in the Christmas caroling competition – and of course, please browse the booths and lend some support to the businesses and charities that are present.
The next lighted boat parade is scheduled for Saturday December 7th, 2013.
Amanda Syme

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