By: Kelly Alvarado
The Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society will host the Parade of Lights boat parade on Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. to raise awareness for preserving the Huntington Lighthouse.
Since 2010, the annual event has taken place to bring light to the shore and to help keep the historic offshore lighthouse open to the public.
“The event is almost a give back to the community and it helps raise awareness to the lighthouse,” Pamela Setchell, President of the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, said. “The boat parade is not a big money maker for us but it does help raise money.”
There are ten categories competitors can enter, including Best in Show, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat, Best Corporate Boat, Best Theme Boat, Most Creative, Most Elegant, Most Outrageous and more. Last year there had been around 40 boats at the parade and this year there should be 20 to 30 boats, Setchell said. Prizes will be awarded to the winners at the award event on the following Friday, Dec. 2. Previous prizes were yeti coolers, personalized blankets and an engraved serving tray.
Every year, this parade is hosted on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Due to its successful turnout, it has become known as “Blue Friday.” Many event goers often come to watch the boats from different viewing areas along the harbor like the boat ramp, behind the Halesite firehouse and Gold Star Beach. Local residents and businesses are encouraged to hold viewing parties at various spots as a way to help fundraise for the Lighthouse.
“We’ve been working on the lighthouse since 1987” Setchell said. “The current state of the Lighthouse is quite good but we have four sizable projects to still embark on. We need new windows, additional stone, and upper structure masonry work which have never been done before. We have the original windows and the upper structure masonry work hasn’t been done since the 90s. The stone was projected to be done a few years ago but we still need to do that too.”
Boaters from the Huntington/Five Harbors Area can participate, as well as others outside the area. Registration is $50 per boat. Sponsorships are also available.
For more information visit: huntingtonlighthouse.org/boat_parade.