story & photo
by Christopher Annino
Mystic Holiday Boat Parade
On a crisp Saturday evening many gathered to witness the annual Mystic Holiday Boat Parade. Over 20 boats from CT, RI and NY were decorated with lights parading down the beautiful glimmering Mystic River. The boats were judged in four categories Most Charismatic Crew, Best Dressed, Most Innovative, and the highest honor of the night the title of Miss Mystic. The three judges for the night were Donna Ralston, tax assessor, East Hampton, Heather Picazio from The Mystic Monkey, and journalist Christopher Annino substituting for Alexis Ann, Editor/Publisher of The Resident. Toys were also donated to benefit the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Shelter.
The event was hosted by The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by The VooDoo Grill, The Mystic Monkey, West Marine, Seaport Marine, and Soft Rock 106.5 WBMW. Other key people to make this event possible are Kathleen Burns, Dan Burns, and Joe Cocere who assisted with the chase boat and refereed the event.
At the end of the night the winners were announced near the Christmas tree in the Mystic River Park in front of a rather joyful audience. For Most Charismatic Crew the award goes to H. Thaxter Tewksbury with his boat The Envirolab III. Gerry Ledger of Electric Custom Marine Canvas receives Most Innovative. Best Dressed goes to Adam Wronoski with his patriotic tug boat John Paul. The Miss Mystic award goes to one of the smallest, but most meaningful boats in the line up, Patience, themed as Angel Ride and Mike Smiles, owner.
Angel Ride, www.angelride.org, is a foundation that is associated with the late Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang. Through cross country bike-a-thons, they raise money to benefit individuals and families who suffer from health problems. They will be riding Memorial Day weekend and invite all to either join in riding or sponsoring a rider. For more information on the event go to www.angelcharitabletrust.org/ride.
Santa and the Nutcracker Visit
What better way to set the tone for the Christmas spirit than to invite the hardest working man in the gift giving business, St. Nicholas aka Santa Claus to Mystic for carols, and cheer. Santa arrived on non other than the tugboat John Paul, captained by Adam Wronoski. Santa stayed the whole day engaging with children, both young and old.
Also in attendance was the Nutcracker giving out candy and promoting The 7th Annual Eastern CT Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker at the Garde Arts Center December 13th and 14th.
Bill Scheer, a Seaport Blacksmith said, “ I think it is great to celebrate Christmas like this. All of these families together creating memories, we owe much thanks to the Mystic Chamber of Commerce and especially Jeff Marshall. I think Santa would agree that Jeff represents the true spirit of Christmas because of his volunteer work with getting a tree for our town and decorating it for all to enjoy.”