DEMI-JOHN — Boat owners who show their Christmas spirit could take home some holiday cash Saturday if they participate in the annual Christmas on the Bayou Boat Parade.
A boat isn’t required to celebrate the holiday on the bayou, with Santa, live entertainment and more following the parade at Capt. Mark’s Bastrop Marina, 4515 Trammel St. in Demi-John.
The boat parade will commence at 5:30 p.m., but all boats must arrive by 5:15 p.m. in order to line up and get instructions before dark. The boat parade will start under the FM 523 bridge off FM 2004 and travel down the bayou.
Participating boats must be decorated with Christmas lights for the festive factor, as well as visibility. Registration is required to be eligible for cash prizes and trophies for the top three decorated boats, with first place receiving $500, $250 for second and $100 for third. The top three will also receive trophies.
Pictures with Santa will be from 6 to 8 p.m. and the band Revelry will perform from 6 to 10 p.m. There will also be a cash prize for the attendee wearing the ugliest Christmas sweater.
Lee Weidner, who is in charge of the parade, does not want people to be discouraged from attending the parade because of the size of their boat, he said.
“It’s not about the size of your boat or the amount of lights on it,” he said. “This is to show the Christmas spirit, to play Christmas music and talk to people and have a good time.”
Although the parade ends in Demi-John, the celebration is meant for all people who live on the bayou, Weidner said.
“This is meant for the entire bayou, upper, middle and lower,” he said. “We welcome everybody, we want everybody to be included.”
Organizers canceled the parade last year because of unsafe boating conditions, But Weidner said the forecast is great this year.
“It is game on. This will probably be some of the nicest weather we’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s going to be beautiful — no rain, no wind and we aren’t in a flood. It doesn’t get much better than what’s forecasted.”
The festivities have grown since Capt. Mark purchased the marina on Demi-John, organizer Michael Durham said.
“We used to end at someone’s house and bring our own dish,” Durham said. “Capt. Mark wanted to have an afterparty and it went from there. I’m excited to see everybody and have a good time.”
For information, call Michael Durham at 832-877-9242. RSVP a boat for the parade to Weidner at 979-864-6703.