A flipped flotilla keeps the annual tradition alive

Flipped Flotilla: Changes keep the annual NC Holiday Flotilla tradition alive

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The docks are decked out for a flipped flotilla.

The annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach won’t be the same because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To keep the tradition alive this year instead of decorated boats cruising the waters around Wrightsville Beach, participants are decorating their docks.

Organizers say this will cut down on crowds but still allow for a smaller event.

“We decided to do a twist on our tradition and obviously none of us felt comfortable encouraging people to come to the fireworks and the boat parade and all of that,” said Flotilla chair Linda Brown. “The Blockade Runner has long been our presenting sponsor since Flotilla started in 1983. So, Billy Baggett (Blockade Runner owner) came up with the idea and all of us talked about doing a door to dock decorating contest; in other words, instead of the boats putting the lights on and parading around, why don’t people do their docks outside of their homes?”

Boaters can cruise around and see the docks when they’re lit up Friday and Saturday night.

There are ways those who are not boat owners can enjoy the light show too.

Brown said there are several entries that can be viewed from a vehicle along Waynick Blvd. There are also several entries across the channel from Waynick Blvd.

Additionally, the Blockade Runner, one of the sponsors of the event, is booking reservations on its Carolina Runner, a custom-built 40′ craft that will cruise the waters on Friday and Saturday night. For more information, click here. The boat will only allow 16 passengers at a time to allow for social distancing.

Brown said 20 docks are decorated for the competition. Prizes will be awarded Sunday.

She said it was important to keep up the tradition.

“38 years is a long time!” she said. “This keeps that spirit and the name of Flotilla alive. Flotilla will float next year and we are looking forward to bigger and better 2021 but we just want everybody to come and enjoy this.”

For more about the event, click here.

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