Sunday, September 30, 2007
BOCA RATON HOLIDAY BOAT PARADE DROPPED BY CITY BUT CORPORATIONS COULD CHIP IN TO SAVE IT Deep cuts in this year’s budget made to meet state legislative mandates eliminated funding for the Holiday Boat Parade, a traditional and popular local event. The Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County has partnered with the city to run this annual event since 2003, when the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce dropped the event, but they cannot pay for the parade without the City’s contribution. However, they have said that if the City funds the Boat Parade next year, they will again participate. The City of Boca Raton has also cancelled funding for this year for the downtown concert series, Halloween Happenings and the Police Athletic League, though the PAL got $50,000. Other area boat parades planned include Parade of the Palm Beaches, and events in Boynton-Delray, Pompano Beach and the Winterfest in Ft. Lauderdale. Participation in the boat parade has dropped, but the association would increase the number of participating water craft to 45. Boats decorated for the holidays took part in the parade that traveled south on the ICW from Delray Beach to the Deerfield Beach border. Best entries received prizes in several categories. Boats would pull up along the shore and people donated items for a holiday “Toys for Tots” drive.