photo (1)Lake Havasu City’s 32nd Annual Boat Parade of Lights drew thousands once again to the Bridgewater Channel this year, as dozens of beautifully decorated boats trolled through the mirror-like waters, sending their brilliant lights reflecting back in gorgeous displays of color. Lake Havasu City’s own fire department kicked it off with a display of the powerful fire hoses mounted along the nose of their patrol boat as it slowly passed dozens of small, controlled blazes along the shore. Following closely behind, the Tecopa—the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe’s nautical jewel—was draped in stunning purples and reds. But it was only the beginning of the night, and it was crisp and clear without the slightest chill, so the viewers reveled and cheered as the London Bridge Yacht Club sailed along the calm waters. Laughed as displayed Santa trapped by Christmas lights strung between cactuses. Cooed at “Tiny Toot.” And Ho! Ho! Hoed! on command as Santa’s brightly lit slay made its way down the channel. This particular Santa, Lewis Berke, said, “This was a banner year. The channel was packed, everyone had a great time.” When asked if there was anything that could change, he said, “We’d love to see more boats. It’s so much fun, and people love it. The sailboats are beautiful. They’re everyone’s favorite.” This year saw only two make their way along the shore, but as if on cue they were pointed at and admired by the crowd, a reminder of how few are left majestically cutting through the lake in recent years. At one point as many as thirteen spectacularly adorned sailboats marked the finale of the Parade. Gracefully ducking beneath the bridge in a display of the past and the present coming together in the holiest of seasons. Where have they all gone? “We just have to get them out there. They’re the best part.” Even so, both nights went off with only minor hitches. A testament to the level of care and devotion given by those who participate. Saturday night saw Vessel Assist move in to tow the Lake Havasu Yacht Club’s Polar Express, showing that on land, sea or in the poles, we all need a little help from our friends this time of year. And in Lake Havasu City, with its English Village shining fabulously for the season and residents and visitors out in force to enjoy the home-town atmosphere, one thing was certain in Mr. Berke’s—and everyone else’s—mind: “Havasu just keeps getting better.”