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Christmas Boat Parade Ushers in Holiday Spirit

Dec. 12, 2004 – The Christiansted boardwalk was alive with people from one end to the other Saturday night for the sixth annual Christmas Light Boat Parade.
In the center of the boardwalk the Gentlemen of Jones worked to bring the people into the holiday spirit singing Christmas carols.
Their efforts appeared to be working. Hannah Trombley, of Youth with a Mission, a group of young Christian adults staying on St. Croix for several months, said, "I'm glad I am here. This is getting me into the Christmas spirit."
Growing up in New Hampshire, she said she is used to going out to see houses decorated, not boats. She and her friends were debating which of the half-dozen decorated ships were their favorite. "This is very exciting. We like the people who come out," she said.
Stewart Gordon, a guest at The Buccaneer from Bend, Ore., had brought his family to the event and was also impressed. "I have been at Disney's Parade of Electric Lights and this was more fun," he said.
The crowd also contained many island residents. Many of their comments were similar: "This is a good way to get out, enjoy the night and see friends."
Diane Thigpen, organizer and commodore, said, "Everybody did a great job." Boats were decorated with flashing, leaping blue dolphins, reindeers, palm trees, and, of course, Christmas trees.
Thigpen started the event six years ago, and each year the lead captain is Bobby Mackay. The pair ride on the Leisure Lady. She said, "We would like to decorate the boats more, but the lead captain has to be able to see, so you can put just so many Christmas lights on."

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