The first year there were 12. Last year, there were 22. How many boats will there be this year remains to be seen, but the Windjammer Days Lighted Boat Parade is on track to increase its participation again this year. This is in part thanks to its dedicated committee members who have been getting the word out. From local fishermen to island residents, everyone is invited to join in the fun. Last year, the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club showed their support with both a sponsorship and an impressive 86 members and families participating in 10 boats in the parade. Yacht Club and Committee Member Andy Mutch said, "BHYC is a proud sponsor of the 2017 Windjammer Days Lighted Boat Parade. We have again encouraged our members to participate in the parade with their lighted and decorated boats."
There are a couple of noteworthy changes this year for interested boaters. Upon registration, participants will be given a number. The number is used only for judging purposes and does not reference any kind of boat parade line order. The assigned number should be displayed midship on the portside. "The judges can then easily jot down the number of each boat on their ballot. We tally all the ballots at the end and winners are notified after the parade. We have a few prizes, but most participants are in it just for the joy it brings to the harbor,"says Kim Gillies. Registration information can be found at windjammerdays.org on the Lighted Boat Parade page.
Also new this year is a Skippers Meeting to be held at Mine Oyster on Friday, June 23 from 5:30-7 pm. At the informal gathering, captains can pick up their registration form, hear safety tips, and size up the competition. There is no registration fee for the Lighted Boat Parade, but the committee will be collecting Toys for Tots at the Skippers Meeting. If you would like to contribute, you can bring an unwrapped, new toy and it will get passed along to the Marines to add to their Christmas collection. All are welcome at Mine Oyster so bring your friends and join in the fun.
Spectators can watch the Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, July 1st at approximately 9 pm from anywhere in the harbor . The parade comes down the west side of the harbor and head up the east. If conditions allow, the parade will circle the inner harbor twice.
The Windjammer Days Lighted Boat Parade is grateful to its generous sponsors for their support: Lincoln Health, Sea Tow, Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club, Ocean Point Marina, Get A Gadget, Boothbay Harbor Marina, Mine Oyster, and Lobsterman's Wharf.