Saw these ships come sailing in: Holiday spirit floats in Destin Boat Parade (PHOTOS)

Special to The Log
Michelle Neubauer, with Buccaneer Pirate Cruise, the largest boat in Destin explained how they won top honors in the Destin Boat Parade.
 “Sean Galkowski and Captain Steve Wilson had a great vision for our Grand Buccaneer and what a joy it was to see it all come together. Sean spent 15 hours programming the lights to the music that Captain Steve had chosen.  Without the teamwork of the entire crew of the Buccaneer it would not have been possible to hang 24,000 lights, which measured to be 2,850 feet, 1,800 feet of extension cord, 1,200 watts of LED lights equal to 12,000 watts of regular light using 10 amps. Our efforts paid off …”

The Destin History and Fishing Museum hosted the 27th Holiday on the Harbor Destin Boat on Sunday and some of the boats twinkled like stars.

Winners in each category were:

·         Private 30 foot and Under: Dookie Fly — Captained by David Wilcox

·         Private 31 foot and Over: Lynne Marie — Captained by Tommy Graves

·         Charter/Commercial 30 foot and Under: The Sky Rider — Captained by Ben Merrell

·         Charter/Commercial 31 ft. and Over: Swoop II — Captained by Chad Mott

·         Tour Boat/Motorized: Sea Quest — Captained by Jeremy Cheatham

·         Sailboat 30 foot and Under: Miami Merger — Captained by Greg Buchanan

·         Sailboat 31 foot & Over: Topp Yott — Captained by John Gardner

·         Overall Best Entry: Buccaneer — Captained by  “Capt. Cannonball,” a.k.a., Cliff Atwell

·         City of Destin Harbor Heritage Award: Buccaneer — Captained by Atwell.

Fireworks by Pyro Shows, Inc. and sponsored by the fishing museum followed the event. Trophy sponsors for the event were AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, Harry T’s, Inn on Destin Harbor, HD Action Photography, Kelly Plantation Fishing Club, Pelican Beach Resorts, and The City of Destin. Gift Certificate award sponsors were AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, The Boathouse Oyster Bar, Boschamps, Crab Island Cantina, Dewey Destin’s Seafood, Fisherman’s Wharf, Harbor Docks, Harry T’s and Pepito’s. Special award sponsors were Bay Limousine, Fudpucker’s and Harry T’s.

Mayor Sam Seevers was the master of ceremonies for the event with judging from Harry T’s restaurant. Judges for the event were Rep. Matt Gaetz, Lance Johnson, and Nancy Weidenhamer. Twenty-five Christmas Spirited boaters registered for the lighted boat parade, which was viewed all along Destin Harbor.

The museum staff, Jean Melvin and Kathy Blue, and Parade Committee Chairman John Lefler thank everyone that participated in helping to light up the harbor with holiday spirit and everyone that came out to join in the beautiful display. Special thanks go out to the Destin Coast Guard Station, city of Destin, Destin Fire Control District, HarborWalk Village and Greg Featherston and Jaxon Mitchell, the Holiday on the Harbor Boat Parade Committee and the judges.