The annual Gig Harbor Lighted Boat Parade took to the water on Saturday to help spread the holiday spirit among Gig Harbor residents who gathered along the water’s edge, despite the cold and construction in Skansie Brothers Park.
With the rain and wind tapering off in time for the parade, the event proceeded without incident, according to Mark Tronca, chair of the parade for the Gig Harbor Yacht Club.
“It went very well. It was awesome,” Tronca said. “We could tell there were a lot of people watching.”
I’m always trying to shoot for that minimum of 1,000 linear feet of lights. Everybody did a phenomenal job decorating their boat.
Mark Tronca, parade chair for Gig Harbor Yacht Club
The annual event is sponsored by the Gig Harbor Yacht Club, which invites any interested boaters to participate in the holiday festivities.
About 25 boats participated in the parade — including nearly 10 kayakers — to feature just over 1,000 linear feet of lighted boats.
“I’m always trying to shoot for that minimum of 1,000 linear feet of lights,” Tronca said. “Everybody did a phenomenal job decorating their boat.”
New this year was a contest for the best decorations, with special attention to the brightest and most creative boats.
Judging the event from Arabella’s landing was Gig Harbor Mayor Jill Guernsey, Gig Harbor Yacht Club Rear Commodore Linda Strand and Gig Harbor Police Chief Kelly Busey.
There were a fewer boats this year, but they were much better decorated this year. Very elaborate. I was impressed with the effort I saw.
Kelly Busey, Gig Harbor police chief and parade judge
“There were a fewer boats this year, but they were much better decorated this year. Very elaborate,” Busey said. “I was impressed with the effort I saw.”
Contest winners included Far Niente in first place, Joe the Tugboat in second and Tugger in third place.
Prizes for the contest were sponsored by the Gig Harbor Yacht Club, Heritage Distillery and Ship to Shore Marine and Kayak.