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Ormond Beach Observer Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 4 years ago

Holiday parades make for a festive weekend in Ormond Beach

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Ormond Beach residents have their pick of holiday events this weekend with the Lights Afloat on the Tomoka Christmas Boat Parade and the Home for the Holidays parade. 

BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER

If you’re looking for a way to get into the Christmas spirt this weekend, then look no further then your own backyard.

On the evening of Friday, Dec. 13, the first Lights Afloat on the Tomoka Christmas Boat Parade will take place on the Tomoka River. Though organizer Paula Heiret did not have an exact count, she estimated about 20-25 boats would participate.

“I want to be the biggest and best boat parade in Volusia County,” Heiret said with a chuckle. “I want to beat the Halifax.”

The parade is scheduled to start at the Tomoka Estates Palm Avenue boat launch where the canal meets the Tomoka River. It will then head west toward U.S. 1, go around the island and finish at the River Grille restaurant. Heiret recommends docks or the River Grille as the best viewing spots.

Also scheduled for this weekend is the 23rd-annual Home for the Holidays Parade, taking place on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 14. “Holiday Sweets” is the theme for the parade, and Community Events Coordinator Mike Demchak expects a lot of candy and treats this year.

“It’s just an application to fill out. There are no fees,” Demchak said. “It’s a great way for businesses to promote themselves, great for nonprofits to get out there and get some awareness. A lot of these groups are now intertwined and help each other out. (The parade) just brings that togetherness.”

This year, the parade is approximately 1.5 miles long and begins on Division Avenue and Ridgewood Avenue, goes north to Granada Boulevard, turns east on Granada to Beach Street, turns south on Beach and ends in front of City Hall.

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