Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Light, Boat Parade Has Expanded Show, Route; More Boats and Docks Are Signed Up This Year, and There Is Room for Plenty More

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Light, Boat Parade Has Expanded Show, Route; More Boats and Docks Are Signed Up This Year, and There Is Room for Plenty More

Article excerpt

Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES

PALM VALLEY - To expand the route of a familiar winter holiday spectacle, organizers of the annual Palm Valley Light and Boat Parade have moved the starting point to a spot a mile south of the traditional start, the Palm Valley bridge.

Also, they have implemented fundraisers this year to generate more money to attract more boaters with a variety of prizes, said Kelli Osborne, co-chairwoman of the event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18.

The grand prize this year is $2,500, plus a weekend getaway. Every participating boater gets a prize, including a local spa package and restaurant gift certificate.

"We want to be able to offer them something good," Osborne said. "We have 15 boats and 10 docks registered right now. That's a big deal because we have 400 houses on the Intracoastal."

By this time last year, only eight boaters were registered to participate in the Intracoastal Waterway parade, which travels northward and ends at the Duval County line. This year, organizers are aiming for 40 decorated boats and 250 decorated docks.

Organizers said the route was expanded to accommodate residents in Marsh Harbor, a new neighborhood on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway. It will end at Marsh Landing, just south of the Duval County line.

So far, Osborne said, they've been able to raise $10,000 of the targeted $15,000 goal. But she's optimistic that by the time the even takes place in three weeks, they will have collected all the money.

"We just want to make it big," she said. "Our numbers are up. It's still early. It's a last-minute thing for some people."

The parade, which began in 1993, is a chance to win money and prizes, said Osborne.

"The community event is intended to bring the neighborhood together every year," she said.

Last weekend, about 600 people attended a fish fry in support of the event. …

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