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Port O'Connor hosts lighted boat parade, toy run

By Jessica Rodrigo
Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.

During the Lighted Boat Parade in Port O'Connor participants decorate their boats with lights and inflatable Christmas decorations.

Lighted Boat Parade

• WHEN: Dec. 2

• TIME: 6:30 p.m. or dusk

• WHERE: Along the Intracoastal Waterway in Port O'Connor

• For information on the Toy Run, contact Marie Hawes at 361-983-4764 or email marieh@tisd.net.

Being surrounded by water, Port O'Connor naturally rings in the holiday season with a Lighted Boat Parade.

Bill Tigrett, a Realtor by trade, has been a part of the tradition, which started 20 years ago, for a few years now.

It started with about 15 to 20 boats and has since grown to include up to 50 boats.

Along with the parade, the festivities will include a toy run, which collects toys for children in 10 counties. Tigrett said the group wants to collect more than $100,000 worth of toys.

The Lighted Boat Parade will start at Larry's Harbor on the Intracoastal Waterway. The parade will last between an hour to an hour and a half.

Tigrett said it's best to get to Port O'Connor early and find a seat as close to the water as possible.

"A lot of the boats will be like a Mardi Gras float and throw out beads and candy," he said.

During the parade, the boats are judged on their decorations and themes for different awards given at the end of the parade. Awards include best overall, most unique, most spirited and more.

The parade attracts visitors and boat owners as far away as Lake Conroe, north of Houston, and the Galveston area.

The Coast Guard Cutter is a local parade favorite, he said, because they're well recognized and outdo themselves every year.

Among his favorites were the shrimp boats, because of all the strings of lights that hang from the stabilizers, but he said he hasn't seen a lot of shrimp boats in recent years.

"It's a fun event meant for people to enjoy the spirit of the time," he said.

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