Boaters to hold 3rd-annual Christmas flotilla

Published 7:51 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

BATH — Boaters in the holiday spirit will be heading out onto Bath Creek on Saturday night for Bath’s annual Christmas Flotilla.

It’s the third year for the flotilla that got its start as a boating community gathering and good time, with a focus on boats’ Christmas décor. Now, the event is pulling out the Christmas competitors, according to flotilla founder Debra Torrence.

“It’s been very informal, but people have gotten very serious,” Torrence laughed. “Nobody knows what each other’s themes are. It’s become such a competition, nobody’s telling anyone what they’re doing.”

And the flotilla is growing, Torrence said. The first year, three boats went out for an evening jaunt on Bath Creek; last year, the number swelled to seven.

“We’re hoping to double it this year,” Torrence said.

Participants, with their lighted, decorated boats, are asked to line up at the state docks at Harding’s Landing before 5:30 p.m. They’ll set off from there and go around Bonner’s Point — with the exception of those larger sailboats with a deeper keel. Torrence said she’s expecting three large sailboats, a pontoon boat and a line of motor boats for this year’s parade.

Once the on-the-water parade is complete, a flotilla Best in Show will be chosen. The winner gets bragging rights and a trophy to keep for a year — which last year’s winner David Johnston has proudly displayed in a case, according to Torrence.

The flotilla also seems to have spread along the shoreline, with waterfront property owners decorating the docks in keeping with the festive occasion.

Torrence said the flotilla has “just become a nice tradition” held the Saturday night before Bath’s annual Christmas parade Sunday at 2 p.m.