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Boats Light the Potomac in Annual Parade

With National Harbor on the horizon, the sailboat Firefly took the prize for Thinking Outside the Christmas Box.

With National Harbor on the horizon, the sailboat Firefly took the prize for Thinking Outside the Christmas Box. Photo by Mango Mike

— The 13th Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights lit up the Potomac River Dec. 1 as 40 boats cruised from the Washington waterfront to Old Town to compete in 11 categories in the traditional seafaring holiday display of lights.

The parade's Best in Show went to Summer C's, a catamaran houseboat featuring a light show animation of a Christmas tree set to festive music. Wii Fish snagged Best Powerboat, decked out to resemble Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer with tall antlers and red nose in lights. The sailboat Firefly took the prize for Thinking Outside the Christmas Box with an all-green Christmas tree shape that cascaded from its tall mast.

As crowds filled waterfront parks and the docks at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, city officials and dignitaries gathered aboard the Cherry Blossom where WTOP's Man About Town Bob Madigan emceed the event. Judges were Jody Manor of Bittersweet Café & Catering, Ann Dorman of Meetings & Events of Distinction, Barbara Brecher of Brecher Design Group, and Dee Beresford from the Old Dominion Boat Club Board of Governors.

The 2012 winners: Best in Show - Summer C's; Best Sailboat - Forward my Calls; Best Powerboat - Wii Fish; Most Animated - Iron Manta; Most Holiday Cheer - Rajin Cajun; Thinking Outside the Christmas Box - Firefly; Hardiest Souls - Endless Summer; Best Theme - Unusual Attitude; Most Spirited Crew - Wish You Were Here; Best Spirit of America - Luv'n Life; Best Try - John Glenn. Three honorable mentions were The Colonel's Lady, Jobsite and Hi C's.

This year's boat parade was sponsored by the Old Dominion Boat Club in partnership with the Washington Waterfront Association with support from the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association.