Volunteers get ready for the show ahead of Havasu’s Boat Parade of Lights

November 29, 2018

Dressed in a Grinch costume, Karen McIntire reached down and grabbed a string of Christmas lights from Larry Woodrum then taped them to the edge of a boat.

“Am I stretching them too much?” McIntire asked Woodrum, struggling to see the outside of the boat from where she was standing.

McIntire, Woodrum and other volunteers with Veterans United of Arizona spent most of their day Wednesday preparing a boat for the Boat Parade of Lights. Veterans United will participate in the parade for the fourth year this weekend.

Their boat, which Ryan Dvorak, owner of Slide Anchor, lends the group each year for the parade, will feature Santa Claus and his reindeer on a top deck and The Grinch. They also plan to install a projector and play a holiday movie as the boat cruises through the channel, said Frankie Lyons, president of Veterans United Arizona.

Lyons said participating in the parade is a good way to give back to the community and to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Being part of the parade and getting together for it is also fun, she said.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “Everybody has ideas to throw in there.”

Steve Linenberger, who has 40 years of lighting design experience, is the electrician expert for the boat. He is tasked with figuring out how to properly distribute the power to more than one generator. He said figuring out how to make so many lights work in the water is a challenge.

“It’s fun to see the kids’ faces when we’re going down the canal, to see the smile on their faces,” Linenberger said. “That’s what makes it worthwhile.”

The London Bridge Yacht Club sponsors the parade. Tammy Kastelz, London Bridge Yacht Club commodore, estimated there will be about 40 entries this year.

The 36th annual Boat Parade of Lights will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at the Bridgewater Channel.

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