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Boat parade looking for decked-out decks

Organizers want more entries for next month's Riverlights parade of decorated boats.

By MATTHEW WAITE

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 22, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- Laura Turner is looking for a few more boats.

Turner, the executive director of Greater New Port Richey Main Street Inc., said plans for the first Riverlights Boat Parade on Dec. 2 are coming along. She said that so far, there are 15 boats that entrants will decorate for the holidays and float down the Pithlachascotee River in the evening event.

But the Main Street group wants more.

"We want to make the season festive and bright," Turner said.

The entrants include some private boat owners, some businesses and some civic groups. Anyone with a boat can enter, she said.

The Main Street group, formerly the New Port Richey Community Cooperative, came up with the boat parade as a way to celebrate the holiday season in a river community.

Turner said entrants will most likely deck their boats with lights and holiday decorations, and some may feature music. Awards will be given to some of the best decorated boats.

Turner said she has seen boat parades that were as elaborate as parades that go down city streets.

"(Boat parades) are just wonderful," she said.

The parade will go along the Cotee River from U.S. 19 to the Main Street bridge in New Port Richey and will start about 7 p.m.

The parade will be the first in a series of events in downtown New Port Richey for the holidays. The holiday festival and the Christmas Parade will be on Dec. 9.

Turner said that anyone who wants to enter the boat parade should call the Main Street office at 842-8066 or pick up an entry form at the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Davis Hardware, Mercantile Bank or New Port Richey City Hall.

- Staff writer Matthew Waite can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6247 or 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6247. His e-mail address is waite@sptimes.com.

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