COTR looking for boaters

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2005

DEMOPOLIS -The Demopolis Chamber of Commerce is asking local residents to decorate their boats and join them on the water for this year’s Christmas on the River parade.

“We want to see what the residents can do with some decoration and their style with their own holiday themes,” Kelley Smith of the Chamber said. “We want to bring some of the flair and individual style back to the parade.”

According to Smith, the first COTR parades consisted solely of personally decorated boats then it shifted to a period when local organizations made the standard boats. Now, the Chamber is responsible for making all the Holiday-themed vessels.

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Smith said the Chamber boats will still sail this year, but members would like to add residents to the program to introduce a “new style” to spectators.

“The resident’s boats will fill in the gaps and add some originality to the parade,” Smith said. “It’s an opportunity to be directly involved with Christmas on the River and to get a different perspective of the nights festivities.”

There will be safety and marine safety guidelines for participants to follow, but other than those, Smith said the design is up to each individual.

Boat owners must also show proof of insurance.

“They don’t have to create a certain design,” she said. “This is our chance to see what the individual thinks Christmas on the River should look like.

Smith said the Chamber wants to reintroduce competition during the event as prizes will be offered for the best float.

“There will be prizes, but we don’t know what yet,” she said. “We have talked about some things.”

When asked about what will determine the winners for the judges, Smith said, “creativity and pretty much creativity.”

The 2005 COTR Nautical Parade will be held Dec. 3 on the Tombigbee River.

Contact Smith at the Chamber of Commerce by Nov. 18 at (334) 289-0270 for more information on how to get your boat seen by thousands.