DEC. 23 — There were no sparkling boats lights on North Carolina’s LakeLanier as the 12th annual Christmas Boat Parade at LakeLanier was cancelled due to lower-than-average lake levels and safety concerns, according to the North Fulton Times. The decision came even after a water safety plan had been developed by the University Yacht Club, sponsors of the event.
“With lake levels low, safety for our participants and spectators must come first,” said Phil Eastman, chairman of the UYC board of directors in the article. “It’s better to err on the side of caution, especially with a nighttime event on the water.”
This is the first year the event had been cancelled due to weather conditions. At 16 feet lower than usual, it is the lowest level since 1986.
Two other boat parades have been put on hold for the same reason. On Nov. 20 the 19th annual boat parade in Lake Wylie, S.C., also had its first cancellation, according to the local newspaper, The Herald. In its place, the town held a classic car show and a Christmas parade.
“We never take something and don’t turn it into an opportunity,” said Susan Bromfield, president of Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce in the article. “We’ll do something festive, because people mark that date on their calendars.”
Winter Haven, Fla., also suffered similar circumstances, but tried to fight back. Since the boats traveled through canals from one lake to another, some locals suggested the boats should just be towed through the streets and around the water, according to the local paper, The Ledger. However, officials said that the congested traffic due to the holiday season and the popularity of the parade could be a lethal mix for that solution. The parade would’ve celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
— Elizabeth Ellis