The City of Jacksonville is proud to announce the following winners from the 24th annual Jacksonville Light Parade, held Saturday, Nov. 29, on the downtown riverfront. The Grand Overall Winner was Captain Eric Nord whose boat Helga, The Viking Warship, was decorated as a Viking warship with more than 20 crew members dressed as Vikings.
In the sailboat category, the first place winner was Captain Jaqueline Welti, with her boat Kara Vela decorated as a fire breathing sea dragon. The second place sailboat winner was Captain John Botterbusch, with his boat The Lady J, which was decorated with a tropical theme.
The 1st place winner in the 30' and Over Powerboat category was Captain Bill Just, with his boat Just For Now, whose North-Pole-themed decorations included an elf school and a reindeer barn. Second place in the 30' and Over category was captured by Captain Stephen Pauly aboard Lauren Elizabeth II decorated as a red and green dragon.
In the Under 30' Powerboat category, first place went to Captain Steve DiPerna, whose boat Escape, had holiday-themed decorations including Santa, music and lights. Second place in the Under 30' Category went to Captain Shawn Gallagher, with his boat Swamp Santa, whose boat featured an ornate gator with a long tail swimming in the water.
Captain Bryan Bliss took honors in the Corporate/Commercial category, aboard Freya with white lights and a dancing Santa. Topping the Organized Club category was Captain Olie Mackerel with crew from the Brothers of the Coasts aboard Tres' Fres'. Best New Entry honors went to Captain Fillipe Macedo with his boat CVS Caremark, with lights and colorful decorations. The Holiday Spirit award went to Captain Tom Cotter on his boat Never Sail with a myriad of holiday-themed lights.
Boats were judged based on lights and decorations, composition and originality. Judges for the 24th annual Jacksonville Light Parade were: Scott Stuckey, General Manager of the Omni Jacksonville Hotel; Jacobi Pittman-Peele, Director of the Clara White Mission; and Judge Emmet Ferguson III.
The Jacksonville Light Parade was presented by the City of Jacksonville and sponsored by Lite 96.1 FM, 99.9 Gator Country WGNE, MOViN 100.7 WMUV. Special thanks goes to River City Brewing Company and The Jacksonville Landing for hosting emcees and judges. This event is part of the Make A Scene Downtown! event series. For more information on the Jacksonville Light Parade, call (904) 630-3690 or visit www.coj.net.