Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday light parade on the water at Elephant Butte Lake

Alternative titles could have been,
Santa Claus and reindeer sleigh disappear in hundred-foot-deep water, feared drowned!
Mariners light up the night in spite of howling zephyrs.

"Tadpole" has a better picture on his blog, but this gives an idea of how Carguy's Newport sloop, Sunkissed, was decorated with about 1800 lights. It took most of the afternoon to get the lights in position, a task made more challenging by blustery winds. The boat parade wasn't held, but instead, judges walked around the marina to judge the entries. Prizes were given for the boats in first through fifth places (with a tie for 5th) and Sunkissed came in 4th in her first year to compete. Tadpole, our eighteen-year-old who has a relatively logical mind, was the chief engineer for getting the lights sorted out and run up the mast.

The boat that came in second place was The Average White Boat, a houseboat with electrically lit hula dancers who kept themselves warm by dancing all evening. The first place winner was a large houseboat, the Doghouse, that was decorated with colorful lights, a light show, illuminated and animated figures, and rather "more". However, while the boat was en route from the Dam Site to Marina del Sur, a large structure blew off in the gusty winds; Santa Claus with his sleigh and reindeer took a fatal dive into the lake in deep water and are presumed lost. Just let the kiddos know that he should be able to swim to the North Pole since he still has plenty of time left before the big night.

Also during the evening, we took time to admire the other boats and to walk ashore to enjoy the festivities on the beach. The luminarias (paper bags with candles set in sand) couldn't be lit because of the winds, but bonfires were dug into pits to provide warmth to the throngs braving the evening. Community groups and businesses set up booths with refreshments, including hot beverages and food, all of which were free to spectators. By walking around to the 20 or so stations, anyone there could enjoy a very substantial meal.

More details of the weekend should be found in Carol Anne's blog,


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