Sunday, December 18, 2011
Christmas ships attract big turnout
It was clear skies and smooth sailing for the arrival of the Christmas ships off Madison Park Beach last night, as hundred of spectators lined the shores, stood on the pier, or watched the show from the windows and decks of condos and apartments along the water. The balmy-for-December air temperature may have been responsible for what was certainly the largest crowd to attend this annual event during the last decade---and perhaps ever.
The Christmas ships have been making an appearance at Madison Park for over 60 years. Lola McKee, former proprietor of Madison Park Hardware, tells us that she can remember the ships coming for 55 of those years. This year she was content to listen to the water-borne Christmas music while standing just outside the doorway of the hardware store ("it's too slippery down at the beach.")
Those who made it down to the water got to see the parade of twenty-or-so gaily-lighted boats arrive from the North and, after a twenty-minute musical interlude, depart for the South. The music this year was provided by The Dickens Carolers, a Seattle-based quartet. We understand that the cookies supplied for the event by Park Shore were excellent, though we arrived too late at the McNae Triangle Park to get any. The Madison Park Community Council and Business Association were sponsors of the on-shore refreshments, with Starbucks supplying the coffee.