COASTAL FLOTILLAS LIGHT UP THE WATERFRONT

The time-honored North Carolina Holiday Flotilla kicks off the holiday season the weekend after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28-29) and always delivers an impressive show of glimmering boats. Visitors can celebrate all weekend, beginning Friday night when the island’s official Christmas tree is lit at 5:45 p.m., followed by visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Town Hall. At 7:00 p.m., there’s an Atlantic Marine Launch Party at the BlockadeRunner Beach Resort with live beach music by The Embers and heavy hors d’oeuvres (admission charge for gala).

On Saturday, a full day of entertainment begins with a free Festival in the Park from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Wrightsville Beach Park featuring live bluegrass music, arts and crafts vendors, antique / classic car show, kids’ activities and amusements, food and entertainment. Then, at 6:00 p.m. the main attraction—the holiday flotilla—gets underway along Banks Channel, beginning with a fireworks volley, followed by the boat parade and a stunning 21-minute fireworks show.

This year’s judges include celebrity radio personality John Boy of the nationally syndicated John Boy & Billy’s Big Show. Textvoting returns, with the Crowd Favorite and People’s Choice Awards determined by spectators. Visitors who wish to make the most of their beach weekend can also enjoy the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, narrated cruises, fresh seafood at island restaurants, and shopping at surf and specialty shops. For details about the N.C. Holiday Flotilla, visit www.ncholidayflotilla.org, email info@ncholidayflotilla.org or call 910-256-2120.

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