published Friday, November 25th, 2011

Lighted Boat Parade a luminous start to Christmas countdown

IF YOU GO

What: Lighted Boat Parade.

When: 7-8 tonight.

Where: Ross's Landing.

Admission: Free

Phone: 265-0771.

For more than a quarter-century, the Lighted Boat Parade has been a beacon for the holiday season. The fun, family-friendly event the night after Thanksgiving signals that Christmas is around the corner.

In existence since before the Grand Illumination began almost 15 years ago, the parade will again be the focal point of tonight's launch of the holiday season. Lack of funding caused the cancellation of the Grand Illumination, meaning no fireball-throwing singing Santa Claus and no fireworks, but Carla Pritchard with Chattanooga Presents said there will still be plenty to see.

"We are promoting the continuance of the Lighted Boat Parade, which has been a mainstay for over 25 years," she said. "It's a great way to kick off the holiday season."

Weather can be a factor for participants, but Pritchard said past events have drawn as many as 40 boaters who have decorated their crafts and circled the waterfront at Ross's Landing.

First Baptist Church of Soddy-Daisy will stage a live Nativity scene, and the city will light a Christmas tree on the green near Ross's Landing.

One new thing will be the lighting of 300 floating candle luminarias that will precede the boats.

People on the bank will be given their own candles and lyrics to popular Christmas carols. Jim Palmour will accompany on guitar.

Vendors will provide hot dogs, hot chocolate and kettle corn.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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