Instead of having our Happy Hour on the courtyard verandah we had it out on the front porch. The temperature was a little nippy so I cooked up a big pot of chili to keep everyone warm and we served it with beer and wine. One of our guests was celebrating a birthday and brought a bottle of champagne to add to the festive spirit. We even had a couple of people stop by and rent a room for the night because it looked like we were having so much fun.
This is a great town for parades as everyone gets involved. All of the youth groups, the High School Marching Band, civic leaders, the KinderTots dance group, the local karate club, church groups and what appears to be random people walking down the road waving and pulling theur kids in a wagon. The Shriners got our vote for the noisiest group with their dune buggies. They were even louder than the Fernandina Beach Pirates Club. We even got a visit from Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates Club as he came up on our porch and handed out beads to the ladies. All of the floats were covered with lights. Santa Claus was the big finale, waving from the back seat of a vintage drop-top.
But wait, there’s more! At 8:00 there was the first ever Lighted Boat Parade in Fernandina Beach Harbor (again, no pictures on account of darkness). Shannon and I walked down with Maggie Doone to check it out. It was great! There were only 10 boats (remember: first year) but they went around twice so it seemed like 20. All the boats were covered with lights and it was quite spectacular. There was a crowd of about 2,000 down at the marina (remember: I exagerate somewhat) watching. Brett’s had extra bartenders on duty cranking out hot chocolate with Jameson’s to keep everyone with prime viewing positions on their deck warm. We watched with Cindy and Bob of Amelia Island Carriages and tried to figure out how we could get Boomer (the word’s largest horse) onto a boat and covered with lights for next year.