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Boat parade lights up the night West Pasco tradition features vessels with Christmas decorations


Published:   |   Updated: December 16, 2013 at 04:01 PM

NEW PORT RICHEY — Spectators oohed and aahed at the vibrant Christmas lights and decorations on boats reflecting in the water of the Pithlachascotee River during the recent River Lights Boat Parade.

Along with the 70 vessels registered for the annual holiday event, owners of another 50 kayaks had signed up for the procession along the Sims Park riverbanks.

Jordan Lujan, 5, was among the youngsters who eagerly waited for the start of the parade. His aunt, Kendrera Smith of New Port Richey, accompanied him.

Kyahlei Murdoch, 5, of New Port Richey arrived early to pick a good vantage point on the Main Street bridge with her grandmother, Sandy Phillips of New Port Richey.

Among kayak entrants, New Port Richey resident Steve Hunter decorated his kayak as a submarine as a memorial to those who lost their lives at the onset of World War II at Pearl Harbor. The parade fell on the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian base on Dec. 7, 1941.

The festivities honored the boat parade’s former chairman, Craig Carmichael, with a special trophy.

Carmichael, 48, died a few months ago.

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