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Boat Parade returns Saturday

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Posted: Wednesday, December 6, 2017 8:10 am | Updated: 8:13 am, Wed Dec 6, 2017.

The Virginia Dare Flotilla for Toys Christmas parade returns this Saturday, Dec. 9 after a brief hiatus. The popular Lake Christmas event ended in 2015 after 18 years due to a lack of participants. In years past, as many as 43 boats paraded down the lake, and in recent years as few as eight. It seems that many lake-area homeowners have made it a tradition to throw Christmas parties and watch the decorated boats make their way down the lake from their windows or docks instead of participating so it was discontinued. New managers Justin Snyder and Tatum Ayers, who took over operations of the marina earlier this year, decided to bring the holiday event back.

Virginia Dare spokesperson Amanda Smith said multiple boats have already signed up for this year’s parade. She plans to continue accepting boat sign-ups until just before the start of the parade and said people can still register their boats by calling the Marina at 540-297-7100. “There's no cost to sign up. All we ask is they decorate their boat, bring toys to donate and attend a mandatory Captains Meeting,” she said. “No boat is too big or small.”

The parade will begin at Virginia Dare Marina at 7 p.m. Boats will follow the Virginia Dare along the shoreline to Hales Ford Bridge and back, which takes about two hours. Smith said the best place to view the parade is at the bridge.

This parade is to help collect toys for Lake Christian Ministries, A Child's Christmas. Through this gift program, much-needed clothes and other gifts are provided for children from low-income families in Bedford and Franklin counties served by LCM.

Toy collection boxes are at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitors Center, Moneta Farm and Home Center, The General Store, Capps Home Building Center, Dollar General (Westlake and Moneta), Union Bank, Hot Shots Family Fun Center, Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library, taiBella Salon & Spa, Westlake Automotive Service, Sugar and Slice, Red Rock Store, Edo’s Grill & Sushi and Moss & Vine.

Stocks

Other Womack Publishing Company websites include: wpcva.com, aconews.com, vancnews.com, and montgomeryherald.com