UPDATE: Parker Live has it on good authority that Santa will be out on his waverunner on Christmas Eve from around 10 am until around 2 pm, visiting riverfront communities. Look out for him!
The Parker Regional Chamber of Commerce & Tourism has cancelled the annual Lighted Boat Parade along the Parker Strip, which usually takes place on Thanksgiving weekend.
“We’ve had no signups so far this year,” said Mary Hamilton, the Chamber’s Director. “We’ve been struggling with this event for some time and this year we’ve decided to cancel it.”
Hamilton told KLPZ 1380am that the parade took financial resources and personnel to run, with fewer entries and less participation in recent years than ever.
“It’s not that we don’t want to do it, we love the Lighted Boat Parade,” she said. “It kicks off the holiday season, and it’s a long-time tradition, a lot of us that are full-time here and even second home owners, this is it, this is one of the ways we kick off the holiday season. But we can’t make it happen this year.”
La Paz County Sheriff Bill Risen called the show live during the segment Wednesday morning, saying that he had talked to his staff and to Buckskin Fire Department, and that they had decided to have their boats on the water on that night in lieu of the formal event.
“We want to make sure it keeps going,” Risen told Parker Live. “My staff told me they’d talked to Buckskin Fire Department and they had agreed to put their boat out. We’ll ask San Bernardino, and some of the clubs, and I expect some of my employees may want to put their boats in the water too.”
It is unclear whether the formal event – which requires insurance, sponsorships and other prerequisites – will continue in any form, or whether it will remain only as a casual gathering on a public waterway with the Sheriff’s Department, Buckskin Fire and others coming together informally to give spectators something to watch.
Sheriff Risen said they wanted to put their boats on the water that night because it will carry on a long tradition in Parker.
“And the nice part is remember, our boats already have lights – red and blue.”