• 39°

Harbor Walk of Lights voting continues through Dec. 26

All along the Washington waterfront, boats of every shape and size have been decked out in lights and festive decorations for the holiday season. Bringing both locals and visitors to the waterfront, the decorations have drawn attention to the city from near and far, and now is the time to pick the best-decorated vessel of 2018.

With 22 vessels participating in this year’s contest, the competition is tight. From trawlers to sailboats, the boats at the waterfront are festooned with everything from Christmas lights to inflatables to full-fledged tree displays.

“Some of the boat owners are funny — they get really into it and get a little competitive with each other,” WHDA Director Meg Howdy said with a laugh. “But they just really enjoy bringing Christmas cheer to Washington.”

Howdy says that due to the online nature of the competition, votes and social media shares tend to come in from all over the country. Last year’s competition pictures were shared more than 11,000 times. Perhaps even more important than the online traffic, however, is the physical traffic and attention the competition draws to that Washington.

“It’s something new and interesting to look at,” Howdy said. “It’s an absolutely beautiful view when you’re seeing those boats all lit up. It adds some fun Christmas cheer that brings people downtown.”

The winners in the competition will receive a prize of “Chamber Dollars” which can be used at a variety of local businesses. Prizes are sponsored by Iconic Marine Group and the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.

To view the boats and vote for a favorite, visit www.whda.org/harborwalkoflights. The final day to vote in the competition is Dec. 26 and winners will be announced on Dec. 28. An aerial drone video of the display from above, filmed by Ray Midgett, can also be viewed on the Historic Port of Washington Facebook page.