Lumina News file photo
Paula Sturdy and Van Marr won Best in Show at the 2011 N.C. Holiday Flotilla with their entry, “Wrightsville Beach Christmas Trolley.”
At the last scheduled meeting before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend event, North Carolina Holiday Flotilla committee members discussed boat signups and rules for the parade and traffic on the Heide Trask Drawbridge on Monday, Oct. 22.
Rick Crowder said entries are slow coming in as usual for the boat parade, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m.
“Everything we’re doing tonight is going to help that, at least get the entries in,” Crowder said.
The parade is limited to 25 boats, which will pick up speed on the route this year. Captains will not be allowed to spin or shoot fireworks from their vessels.
“If it’s an emergency spin so be it,” Crowder said. “We’re going to try to control it as much as we can.”
The coloring contest will also feature a boat for children to decorate as if it were in the parade.
“Everything’s boat, boat, boat,” chairwoman Linda Brown said.
There will be a timeframe placed on voting for the new text to vote option, which will determine the people’s choice award winner. Voters may text their choice multiple times. To vote, parade onlookers can text 24587, type the word: boat, followed by the number of the boat they choose.
The people’s choice award winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize. The boat parade’s grand prize is a four-night trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas, plus $1,500 for expenses. With three power boat categories, best sailboat, and best crew spirit and costumes, all of the winners’ names will be released the evening of the parade.
“I think the people who text are going to be more in demand of knowing who won,” said Pres Davenport, head of media and public relations.
Earlier in the meeting, Brown expressed concerns about the Beach2Battleship traffic during the weekend of Oct. 20 and how the bridge construction would impact flotilla weekend in an email sent earlier that day to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen. With thousands attracted to Wrightsville Beach for the event, traffic lane closures caused drawbridge repair and maintenance created hour-long backups.
“It was a mess,” Brown said. “… It just made me cringe for flotilla.”
She said her concerns were for safety and whether an emergency vehicle could navigate through the traffic.
Davenport said only one lane on the bridge was open during Beach2Battleship; during flotilla weekend, two lanes will be open.
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, Brown met with Tony Wilson, interim town manager, and other town officials to discuss the traffic flow more in depth.
“We bring more people on the beach than the marathon does,” Brown said.
The 29th annual event will begin Friday, Nov. 23. For more information, visit