Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
Boaters from 2 groups spread some holiday cheer on the Hillsborough River Saturday to benefit Toys for Tots. The Marines collected new, unwrapped toys outside Rick’s on the River on N. Oregon St. near the W. Columbus Bridge. Marine Sgt. Wyeth Whitehurst said the community response in toy donations has been good with 10 days left before Christmas. The Holiday Dragon Boat Paddle Event included teams of breast cancer survivors (Pink Ladies), and from the Sun Coast Association of Chinese Americans, the Blue Dragons Paddling Club and Tampa Electric Company. “It’s a success,” said Theresa Young, Pink Ladies President. “It is fun and to help underprivileged children,” said George Sheu, a Blue Dragons club member. After dropping off their toy donations, the decorated, lighted dragon boats went north on the river to the bridge near Martin Luther King Boulevard and back.
After a 5-year absence, the Rick’s on the River Light Up the River parade went up the Hillsborough River Saturday night. Several festive boats with holiday lights participated on the river. Captain Wes Burns hopes this re-started holiday boats parade will get larger in the future. “It’s for the community, toys, have fun. Merry Christmas!,” said Burns, who organized this year’s evening boat parade.