In Lake Norman parade, floats really floated
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Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013

In Lake Norman parade, floats really floated

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/17/09/50/DX5SK.Em.138.jpeg|476
    MARTY PRICE - MARTY PRICE
    The 30-foot S2 sailboat “Outrageous,” foreground, parades past the Rusty Rudder restaurant for judging. It won the $250 gift certificate for the best-decorated boat in the third annual Lake Norman Christmas Flotilla and Parade with its “Cat in the Hat” theme, labeled “Cattitude.”
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    MARTY PRICE - MARTY PRICE
    A 30-foot Catalina sailboat named “Cat-A-Tonic,” foreground, is decorated with a white Christmas tree and multi-colored Christmas balls hanging from the mast as it leaves the dock at the Lake Norman Yacht Club for the third annual Lake Norman Christmas Flotilla and Parade.
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    MARTY PRICE - MARTY PRICE
    Mark Cameron dressed as Santa and rode on a Sea Ray boat named “Someday Came” during the third annual Lake Norman Christmas Flotilla and Parade Dec. 7.
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    MARTY PRICE - MARTY PRICE
    From left, sailboats named “Outrageous,” “Gadget” (foreground) and “Cat-A-Tonic” parade past the judges at the Rusty Rudder restaurant in Cornelius in the third annual Lake Norman Christmas Flotilla and Parade. “Outrageous” won the $250 gift certificate for the best decorated boat with its “Cat in the Hat” theme.
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    MARTY PRICE - MARTY PRICE
    Sandy Kimbrell, left, and Richard Jones check the lights on the winning boat before the third annual Lake Norman Christmas Flotilla and Parade Dec. 7. The boat, named “Outrageous,” is a 30-foot 1983 S2 sailboat, decorated on a “Cat in the Hat” theme.
  • Learn more:

    For information on the Lake Norman Yacht Club and coming events, visit www.lnyc.org.

In this parade, the floats really did float.

The sailing craft were part of the third annual Lake Norman Christmas Flotilla and Parade Dec. 7.

Parade Marshal Mark Hamilton and other boat owners hurriedly strung lights on his 30-foot 1980 Catalina sailboat named “Freedom” before the skippers’ meeting. The chilly weather and brisk wind had cut down on the number of boats, but it didn’t dampen Hamilton’s Christmas spirit: He was to lead the parade.

The Lake Norman Yacht Club Keelboat Fleet hosted the parade in Mooresville, but anyone could enter. Although entry was free, the organizers asked each participant to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys For Tots.

“We overfilled two large barrels with toys,” Hamilton said. “It was a great night, with the sailing community coming together for a great cause.”

Richard Jones and Sandy Kimbrell were checking lights as they put the finishing touches on the 1982 S2 sailboat “Outrageous.”

With a large face of the cat from “The Cat in the Hat” and other props from the book – including Thing 1 and Thing 2 – Jones had named their float “Cattitude.” Jones spelled the name in red lights with all capital letters on the side of the boat.

Mark Cameron donned a Santa suit and climbed aboard Tim Lockhart’s SeaRay 380. “Merry Christmas” was spelled out in red lights on the side, and a lighted snowman was on the back. It was to be the final float in the parade.

As darkness fell, boats from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Lake Patrol, Iredell County Sheriff Lake Patrol, Lake Norman Fire Department and Cornelius Fire Department escorted the fleet to gather close to the Lake Norman Yacht Club.

Once the order was established, the seven sailboats – along with the J.S. Livingstone, a Parker 2120 power boat from the yacht club – led Santa’s float across the lake to the Rusty Rudder, a lakeside restaurant in Cornelius, for review and judging.

Each boat paraded and turned around in the cove. Some spectators had gathered at the water level on the docks for a closer view.

Each float’s crew shouted its number and seasonal greetings as they passed the docks for judging, their colorful displays reflecting off the calmer water in the cove.

After Santa arrived and wished everyone a Merry Christmas, the fleet gathered and headed back across the lake to the launching point.

The boat “Outrageous” won the $250 gift certificate for the best-decorated boat with its “The Cat in the Hat” theme. The skippers returned to the yacht club for refreshments, prizes and chili to chase away the cold.

Marty Price is a writer for Lake Norman. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at mprice1@vnet.net.

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