The right spirit

Published 12:45 pm Sunday, November 18, 2007

By Staff
Ahoy, boaters!
There’s an opportunity for you to help make this Christmas season a little more special for area residents. All you need to do is decorate your boats — using a Christmas theme, of course — and participate in the Holiday Flotilla set for Dec. 8 on the Pamlico River off Washington’s waterfront.
The Holiday Flotilla is fast-becoming one of Washington’s top annual attractions, joining the likes of the Summer Festival, Smoke on the Water, Music in the Streets and the Beaufort County Arts Council’s Fine Arts Show. The Holiday Flotilla is organized and managed by Downtown Washington on the Waterfront and the Pamlico Sail and Power Squadron.
The Holiday Flotilla is another one of those Washington events that many people come to see, but one that a small number of people plan and produce. Someone has to coordinate the vessels in the waterborne parade. Someone has to arrange for hot chocolate, coffee and clam chowder to be served to the thousands of people who come down to the waterfront. Someone has to arrange entertainment. Someone has to judge the boats.
The fine folks with DWOW, the Pamlico Sail and Power Squadron and other volunteers take care of those details to make sure the Holiday Flotilla continues to provide the public with wholesome entertainment and downtown merchants with prospective customers.
But without boaters and their vessels, there would be no Holiday Flotilla. So, it’s up to you boaters to sign up for the floating parade on the Pamlico. A good, dedicated group of people will do the rest, as they have for the previous four Holiday Flotillas.
The Holiday Flotilla is more than just a stream of decorated, lighted vessels cruising on the Pamlico.
Downtown Washington on the Waterfront has chosen, again, Toys for Tots to benefit from the generosity of people who come to the waterfront to enjoy the Holiday Flotilla and associated events. Last year, according to the Marine Corps Reserve, Downtown Washington on the Waterfront’s Toys for Tots drive — part of the Holiday Flotilla — ranked second in the state for the number of toys collected.
Maybe this year is the year that Downtown Washington on the Waterfront’s Toys for Tots campaign collects enough toys to make it the No. 1 Toys for Tots campaign in the state.
That means the Holiday Flotilla needs more toy donors.
Well, what else does the Holiday Flotilla need?
It needs you. It needs me. It needs people to show up and just enjoy an evening of family oriented events and activities.
And except for that coffee, hot chocolate and clam chowder, the events and activities won’t cost a dime. Downtown merchants won’t mind browsers before or after the Holiday Flotilla. After all, some browsers become customers.
The best way to thank those people responsible for planning, producing and presenting the Holiday Flotilla is to show up. A jam-packed waterfront would be more than appreciated by Holiday Flotilla organizers. They will have worked days and weeks to bring several hours of festivities and fun to the waterfront for others to enjoy.
If you want to see the spirit of Christmas in action, just come to the waterfront about 6 p.m. Dec. 8. Boaters in the Holiday Flotilla, people donating to Toys for Tots and the folks who arranged it all will be displaying that spirit of Christmas.
They will be giving. They will be making a difference. They will be spreading the Christmas message.