Harbor Walk of Lights makes big splash, winners announced
Published 9:47 pm Monday, January 1, 2018
The Washington waterfront drew visitors galore this year, not only in person, but online as well.
The draw was Washington Harbor District Alliance teaming up with the Washington waterfront docks to host the annual Harbor Walk of Lights boat-decorating contest. Thirty-nine boats decorated for the holidays lined the Washington promenade and boardwalk; 34 of them were entered into the contest. The judges of the contest were anyone who cared to vote.
“Visitors walking along the waterfront voted for their favorites on paper ballots, and online voting was also available courtesy of the Washington Harbor District Alliance,” dockmaster Rick Brass wrote in a press release.
Brass said 23 boats earned votes, and the top vote-getters were:
First place: My Way, owned by Carl Mayo, Washington
Second place: Hesperus, owned by Steve Dettman, Suffolk, Virginia
Third place: Perpetual Karma, owned by Dave Rummel, Washington
Honorable mention: T Squared, owned by Jim and Pam Harris, Red Oak
Washington City Councilman and WHDA member Roland Wyman said the spectacle made a big splash online.
“This year, images and videos of our harbor were more popular than ever,” Wyman wrote in an email. “Facebook has reported a tremendous number of views and shares, all over North Carolina, much of the southeastern seaboard, and including likes and comments from people across the U.S.”
Wyman said events like the Harbor Walk of Lights put Washington on the map: visits to the Washington Harbor District Alliance Facebook page skyrocketed from 4,000 people reached in one week to nearly 42,000 reached the following week, a nearly 900 percent increase in page traffic. Aerial footage taken by a drone has been viewed 10,000 times.
“Our Christmas display has made a great number of people aware of Washington,” Wyman wrote in an email. “Harbor Walk of Lights may have helped drive visitors and shoppers to Washington during the holiday season, but it’s effective publicity should translate to our tourism through the year.”