Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sir Durward Knowles Festival of Lights hoists sail December 10th!

Nassau, Bahamas – The Sir Durward Knowles Festival of Lights Christmas Boat Parade will sail into Nassau Harbour on December 10th, bringing Christmas joy after the destruction of Hurricane Matthew, with a brand new Grand Marshall and a new Platinum sponsor. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has now come aboard to help make this popular event bigger and better than ever.

Back for its 7th year, this boat parade of lights through historical Nassau Harbour, will again cast off on December 10th at 6:30pm. Starting in Arawak Bay, the lighted flotilla will make its way under the Nassau Bridges to Montagu and then circle back around to its start location, stopping both ways at Pier 14, giving the throngs of excited viewers a close-up of the boats as they turn in the channel.

This year’s Grand Marshall is Peter Andrews, well known sailor and philanthropist. “I am happy to Captain the ship for our patron Sir Durward Knowles,” said Andrews. “We are looking forward to a great event – I am reaching out to everyone to support us this year. "

Last year’s parade had over 20 boats, from the small sailboat Sea Girl to the huge commercial craft MV Garth Dean; despite choppy seas, it was hailed as a huge success. This year, Grand Marshall Andrews is hoping to entice more boaters to join the event and pull out all the stops. “We need this right now,” said Andrews. “We have bounced back from a major hurricane, we have endured some hard times and now as we head into Christmas we want everyone to join in and make this a great show for our not only us and our kids to see, but also as a memorable event for our tourists.”

Entry for the competition can be found on the events website http://www.festivaloflightsbahamas.com/. Winners for best decorated vessel in each category will win a cash purse and other prizes, including travel vouchers, hotel, dinners and more.

Winners are determined by a panel of five judges, who get a first hand view of each vessel from Alan Burrows boat which weaves them amongst the boats in the parade. Entries are judged on the following criteria: music, visible relevance to theme and originality.

This year’s theme is “A PIRATE CHRISTMAS IN THE BAHAMAS” and organizers are hoping to get a glimpse of the good ol’ days of Nassau Harbour and the infamous Blackbeard and Anne Bonny!

“We're very excited about this year's event and look forward to entertaining the crowds that come out to see the boats each year,” said Janet Johnson, Festival Chairman “Tickets for this year's Yellow Bird Party Boat are on sale now at $35 adults, $25 children, including a boxed Christmas dinner to enjoy. There will also be a DJ, dancing and a cash bar – an exciting and colourful way to start the Christmas season”

For more information visit the Festival of Lights Bahamas Facebook page, or call 427-3757. “We invite everyone to join in,” said Johnson. “Our event has been growing annually but to ensure its ongoing success we rely on the philanthropy of corporate Bahamas and friends of the Festival. This year we’d like to make a really huge show of it and make this event even more of a signature event for Nassau.”