Parade of Lights returns to harbour
© Ryan Cooke/Journal Pioneer
Brandi Ramsay, left, lends a hand to Brian MacDonald to strong lights along his boat. While boaters often help each other out, they are hesitant to give away their designs until the parade begins. Ryan Cooke/Journal Pioneer.
SUMMERSIDE – The harbour will be aglow this Saturday night in Summerside, as the Parade of Lights returns for its second year in a row.
The parade, which was an annual event throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, took a four-year hiatus until it was rehashed last summer.
This year’s event will be organized by Glenna Lohnes, who has had a boat at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club for the last eight years.
“We’re hoping for around 15 boats this year,” she said. “The members down at the club are all really excited for it, like they are every year.”
Though they may not want to admit it, the boaters at the club tend to get pretty competitive.
“I don’t think people want to say that it’s a competitive thing, but it certainly is for some,” she laughed.
Brian MacDonald was at the club on Thursday afternoon, prepping his boat for the parade, along with Lohnes and fellow boater Brandi Ramsay.
MacDonald has been a part of the parade since the beginning, using three different vessels over the years.
“People put a lot of work into it,” he said. “Pre-planning and decorating all included, it’s about a week of work.”
“You should have seen Glenna earlier,” Ramsay laughed. “She was pulling her hair out, saying how she was done with the lights.”
Beyond being a chance to show off, it’s a chance for boaters to socialize together.
“It’s a fellowship thing,” MacDonald said. “The yachters, the powerboaters, the motorboaters. Everybody gets together and it’s the main way we can give back to the community.”
The boaters will take off from the Silver Fox, head out to Indian Head Lighthouse, where they will begin at nightfall. The boats will circle the harbour before returning to the marina at ‘The Fox.’
There will be awards for different categories, separating the boats by types and sizes. The judges, Wendell and Shelly Ellis, will hand out prizes donated by sponsors. The prizes, like the decorations, are kept a secret.