Pasadena holiday boat parade returns for second year

When Andrea Menke heard about a holiday boat parade that once wound its way through Pasadena waterways, she decided to resurrect the neighborhood tradition to create memories with her family.

"I wanted to get (the event) going again for my son," she said, "I thought, 'how fun for my son to make these family memories.'"

Last year, she wrote a post on Facebook asking for information about the previously held boat parade, but didn't get any response. She decided to organize the first Pasadena Boat Parade in years, which was a success.

Menke lives along Rock Creek with her husband and 9-year-old son. They are avid boaters who appreciate time spent together on local waterways.

Reestablishing the boat parade is yet another way for Menke to spend quality time with her family on their beloved boat making lasting memories.

Following a successful inaugural year, the Pasadena Boat Parade is back for a second time. Fifteen participants are currently registered to drive their decorated vessels through the parade route, double from last year.

Menke and her family are participating in the parade again; they started decorating last week in anticipation of the upcoming event. Their boat is adorned with colorful red, green and blue Christmas lights.

Participating boats will gather at Glen Burnie's Broken Oar Bar & Grill, 864 Nabbs Creek Road, at 4 p.m. Dec. 1. The parade begins around 5 p.m. A rain date has been set for the same time on Dec. 2, check their Facebook page for updates.

Menke recommends attendees show up to the Broken Oar early, last year the venue had standing room only.

The parade will travel nearly 11 miles, first along Stoney Creek, around the Riviera Beach peninsula, then down Rock Creek. Menke has posted viewing locations and approximate times on the parade's Facebook page.

Tow Boat US will again monitor the parade route to keep participants, spectators and vessels safe during the parade.

Some of the parade viewing areas and times include Elizabeth's Landing at 5:45 p.m., Stoney Creek Bridge at 5:55 p.m., and Pine Grove Village at 6:35 p.m.

The Maryland Yacht Club, 1500 Fairview Beach Road, is opening its gates to the community for free during the event. It will offer pavilion seating, hot chocolate, and a bonfire. The club asks attendees to bring a dish, drinks and friends to celebrate the parade.

Menke estimates the boats will pass the club around 6:20 p.m.

She estimates boaters will reach the parade's final destination, PYY Marine, 1132 Pasadena Yacht Yard Road, at 6:40 p.m. after about an hour and a half.

Menke refers to Mike Hatcher, from PYY Marine, as her "right hand man." They met when Hatcher replied to Menke's Facebook post offering to help her organize and incentivize the event. The time they put into organizing the event is unpaid.

"Our big focus on this is giving back to the community for a family fun event," Hatcher said.

Additional sponsors have stepped up this year to provide $500 in cash and prizes for the top three best decorated boats. Boats are judged by four individuals using a points system.

Awarding prizes to contestants is important to Hatcher because he recognizes the time and effort people put into decorating their boat and participating in the cold weather parade.

Sponsors for this year's event include PYY Marine, Broken Oar, Fifer's Seafood, Pasadena Pre-owned and the Anne Arundel Home Services Company.

Hatcher said he's "proud of local small businesses coming together for the community."

The planning process has been a "learning experience" for Menke and Hatcher. Last year's event was organized two weeks before the parade which made it difficult for participants to sign up in time. This year, they started the registration process earlier.

As Menke's family boated down the river last year during the parade, people watched and cheered from their private piers and Stoney Creek bridge was packed with spectators.

She says she's thrilled by the community's positive reception which has fueled her desire to continue the tradition.

"(The parade) is just a fun thing to do," she said.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Pasadena-Boat-Parade-192481234643387/.

Tree lighting

Pasadena Business Association will hold a tree lighting ceremony at Lake Shore Plaza, 4101 Mountain Road, beginning 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4. There will be games, hot chocolate, cookies and Santa. The lighting of the tree will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Live nativity

Pasadena UMC, 61 Ritchie Hwy., is hosting a free live nativity at 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16.

Christmas dinner theater

Chesapeake Christian Center, 206 Weston Woods Dr., will have its annual Christmas Dinner Theater at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8. This year's production featuring singing and dancing by the C3 Players is entitled, "Welcome to Bethlehem."

For tickets and more information, call Pastor Thom Dawson at 410-903-2420

Share your Pasadena news with Atalie Day Brown at adbrownmdgazette@gmail.com

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