The 33rd-annual Boca Ciega Yacht Club (BCYC) Lighted Christmas Boat Parade featured 20 entries and plenty of cheer on Saturday, December 8.
Led by Gulfport Police Sergeant Robert Burkhart and Councilmember Michael Fridovich in the department’s patrol boat, the entrants mustered in the city’s marina and paraded by the shoreline of the yacht club located at 4600 Tifton Dr. S. before beginning their parade route in Boca Ciega Bay.
A group of 32 business and government sponsors provided gifts for all of the participants.
The parade’s three judges who selected the top 10 entries were Gulfport’s 2018 Gecko Queen Jon Ziegler along with Renee Best and Rey Lastra both of St. Petersburg.
According to the rules of the parade, members and non-members of the BCYC with sail or powered vessels were invited to participate and the entry fee was at least two unwrapped children’s presents or a check made out to “Operation Santa,” the annual local toy drive sponsored by the Gulfport Police Department.
The drive is celebrating its 27th year. For more information, including how to donate to it or to qualify a local child, call the Operation Santa hotline at 727-893-1097.
The 10 winners, in order by boat name, were Mirage, Sandy Claws, Dangler, Connection to Water, Annie B., Seahawk, Ocean Hiatus, Ding Dong, Aquasition and Bella Vita, said Samanta Ring, the co-chair of the 2018 parade. The other co-chair was Kim Westerfield.