Boat parade lights up Cape Charles holidays

CAPE CHARLES, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- Maritime merriment is back in Cape Charles on Saturday, Dec. 9, with the town’s annual lighted boat parade.

The procession of watercraft decked out in colorful lights begins at the Oyster Farm at Kings Creek. An after party with music by a DJ runs until midnight after the parade at the marina and restaurant.

Viewing and participating in the parade is free.

“It’s something good for the town as a whole,” said Smitty Dize, manager at the Oyster Farm, which organizes the annual event. “It’s good for groups to get together. From 5 to 6:15, the boaters have a big spread down on the dock.”

The Cape Charles Yacht Club originally launched the town’s boat parade, but it “fizzled out” before the Oyster Farm revived the holiday tradition last year, Dize said.

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From simple strings of lights to flashing affairs accompanied by music, any decked-out boat is welcome to join in the parade. 

Last year, 11 boats participated, including one from Hampton, Dize said.

At least eight are lined up at the Oyster Farm docks for this year’s event, he said.

The Cape Charles Coast Guard Station leads the celebration, which starts around 5 p.m. with a gathering on the Oyster Farm docks. 

The parade officially launches at 6:30 p.m. and lasts 45 minutes to an hour as the boats make their way to the town harbor and back to the Oyster Farm.

“It gives multiple viewing areas,” including the Oyster Farm, the Shanty and Cape Charles beach, Dize said.

“It’s Christmas. I think the more we could do to get people to Cape Charles and the more things that are going on, the more people can enjoy themselves,” he said.

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The Cape Charles Yacht Club and the Marine Trawler Owners Association help promote the event.

Those wishing to watch the boat parade from the Oyster Farm should make reservations in advance by calling 757-331-8660.

The Oyster Farm is located at 500 Marina Village Circle, in Cape Charles.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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