Annual Naples Christmas Parade: Dec 15

NIA (Christmas Parade registration fee) $25.00
West Marine (battery inverter) $53.99
Party America $60.25
West Marine (another inverter) $49.99
Target (utility cord) $10.79
Misc Parade Supplies $207.96

Almost capsizing while still on shore as a full boat of twenty people scream in terror of drowning in the dark with electrical wiring and a generator running --


This year we decided on a theme of firemen. Leon had grand plans for how we were going to construct a much larger float for the parade, with lights and everything. We started the day making candy packets to throw to the crowds and Kenny taking his truck to the local home improvement store for a good amount of lumber and fasteners.

As seen in the list above, we purchased a good amount of material and as we were putting all this together, Kenny's truck got stuck in the sand as he was unloading the lumber. No, it was not four wheel drive and we ended up using the wood we just purchased to create a makeshift road to leverage the truck out of the sand.

That should have been our omen, but we were blind to what was to come. . .

We finished our wiring, and this thing was a beast. I have no idea what the exact weight was but it was at least several hundred pounds of material sitting *above* the gunnel. This bears repeating. All of that weight was above the gunnel which made for a frighteningly tippy boat. Our solution? Lash a pontoon to either side as a faux-outrigger.

While it was helpful, it was not what I would consider a "smooth" ride. The first attempt to push the boat out resulted in some amusing screams of terror as some of the paddlers were in fear for their lives. Drowning in 2 inches of water so to speak.

But like all LARD events, once we got everything moving, it was a fantastic night. We saw beautifully lit boats. We saw men swimming a floating dragon with a flame thrower. We received cheers as we distributed all of our goodies.

These events while fun, were exhausting since we would not finish until very late and had to push the boat up in the dark and disassemble all of our construction before heading home.

Any of you notice the mini-fireman's hat Kenny is wearing? :P

the original design by Leon

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