North Carolina Holiday Flotilla draws hundreds; winners announced

Hundreds attend Wrightsville Beach holiday tradition

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – One of the most anticipated Wrightsville Beach holiday traditions took place over the weekend.

The 39th annual North Carolina Flotilla started with a fun day in Wrightsville Beach park which featured food and crafts, vendors, a car show, and inflatables for the kids.

The event brought out lots of people with their lawn chairs, snacks, and blankets waiting for the boat parade to start.

Thyssen and Layla Johnson were asked what they were looking forward to the most.

“To vote,” said Layla.

“Yeah, a good boat with good lights,” said Thyssen.

They were also looking forward to the fireworks.

Randy Moreau was there to enjoy time with family and friends, he said this year they opted to watch from their docked boat rather than participate in the parade.

“Everybody did a potluck, corn chowder, we got sausage balls, we’ve got plenty to drink,” he said. “We are here for the duration.”

Sponsors were treated to food and drink – as they sat and watched the parade get underway.

One by one the creative boat designs made their way through the Causeway.

There were sailboats, yachts, and dinghies competing for bragging rights – the audience texting their votes in – the judges on the pier for a good look at the 25 boats entered in this year’s contest – who will be judged in four categories.

There were even kayakers taking part on the sidelines, decorating their small vessels with holiday-themed lights.

Organizers, this year had the most entries in the history of N.C. Holiday flotilla.

According to Flotilla Chair Linda Brown, the annual event brings out visitors and locals who contribute to the local economy.

“It is exciting everybody in Wilmington, New Hanover County, Wrightsville Beach, they know about Flotilla and they wouldn’t miss it,” she said. “It’s a memory for lots of families, it’s a tradition at Wrightsville Beach.

“It’s a lot of people here who explore our town and want to come back and stay in hotels.”

Brown said next year will be their 40th year and will do things bigger, and added the event couldn’t happen without their generous sponsors.

To become a sponsor, and for more information click here.

For a list of the winners, click here.

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