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Updated: Shell Harbor holiday event on the water cancelled

By Staff | Nov 29, 2017


The Shell Harbor Boat Parade of Lights scheduled for Dec. 16 has been cancelled.

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A homeowner’s association has decided to add some holiday cheer for the island this year by hosting an inaugural Boat Parade of Lights, which is open for both Shell Harbor residents and nonresidents.

Jim Mallozzi said they hope the Shell Harbor Boat Parade of Lights will be the start of another great Sanibel holiday tradition.

“We thought we would start it relatively small, just to kind of get our feet wet and organized. Also the canals are restricted because of the Periwinkle Bridge, so we had to look at the right tides and the size of boats,” he said, adding that, unfortunately, the really big boats cannot be part of the parade.

The boats have to be 33 feet, or smaller, and be able to fit under the Periwinkle Bridge at a medium tide. Mallozzi said sailboats, kayaks or paddleboards cannot join the parade.

“It’s going to be dark and the canals too restrictive. At this point it’s just powerboats only,” he said.

The deadline to register is Dec. 10. The fee is $10 for Shell Harbor residents and $15 for nonresidents.

“It’s a pretty small entrance fee. The idea there is to help us defer some of the expenses,” Mallozzi said.

The parade will take place Saturday, Dec. 16, with the boats gathering at 5:30 p.m. and the parade starting between 5:45 p.m. and 6 p.m.

A mandatory captains meeting will be held the day before. He said the meeting is important because of the size of the canals. The meeting he said will let everyone know where they will be going and how fast they can travel in the canals.

The Sanibel Police Department will also be attending the meeting, Mallozzi said to share “any kinds of rules of the road they would like to remind us of.”

The parade will start just outside of Sanibel Harbor in San Carlos Bay, proceed down the main canal before turning around in Victoria Cove basin.

“We ask that folks decorate their boat as elaborate, or simply as they would like,” he said, adding that they are asking for the decorations to be tasteful and holiday themed. “If they can play some holiday music that would be even better in their boat.”

A prize will be given to the best decorated boat.

The spectators are encouraged to go to any of the areas where they can see the canal to watch the parade. Mallozzi said great viewing areas would be by the Sanibel Marina, Periwinkle Bridge, and street ends, such as Sextant Drive.

The parade route will take about 15 minutes each way, due to the 5 mile per hour speed limit.

“It will be about 30 minutes per boat roughly. There will be several boats in the canal at once. If we have multiple boats they will be paced out about 5 minutes apart to give them room,” Mallozzi said.

Those interested in registering can do so by emailing shellharborpoa@gmail.com. Additional information can also be found at the Shell Harbor Property Owners Association Facebook page.