Kids loved to dance to the music beneath the dazzling laser show. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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Laser show climaxes Carrabelle holiday festival

Carrabelle celebrated the Christmas season under the glow of harbor lights and the dazzle of laser beams Saturday with the Holiday on the Harbor Street Festival and Boat Parade of Lights.

“The festival was a great success and we could not have asked for more perfect weather,” said Lori Dougherty, director of the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce. “The attendance was up and the street was packed all day and into the evening.”

The boat parade glowed in all different colors. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

A steady queue of brightly decorated boats streamed up and back along the river, as onlookers gathered on shore to film the spectacle and wish those on board a Merry Christmas.

Taking top honors in the 24-feet and under category was Rudolph, piloted by Kelly Williams, with Stauffer Realty’s Reel Time in second place and Mike Harless’ watercraft in third place.

Loralie Tarantino, daughter of Ashley and Stephen Tarantino, of Carrabelle, tells Santa what she wants for Christmas. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

In the 25 to 30-foot category, the judges determined that Charles Wilkins’ Old Polly was the winner, with Towboat US’s boat in second place.

Among watercraft 31 to 35 feet long, the winner was the Kristy Kay, piloted by Jackie Pons, with Rick and Lori Clements’ Knotty Pearl the runner-up and Danny Williams’ Knot Content in third place.

A shark invaded the boat parade. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Among boats over 36 feet, first place went to Derrick Pfeufer’s Brick Bat, and second place to Ernie Roybal’s Second Wind.

The top paddled vessel was the HMS Carrabelle propelled by Tom Herzog. Honorable Mention honors went to the Cruz Control, piloted by David Cruz. The MS Dockside Marina won the Martina Challenge. 

Tom Herzog always paddles his watercraft in the Boat Parade. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

“I know the community loved the boat show,” said Dougherty. “That is a Christmas traditional favorite and we really look forward to it.”

Because of a mechanical problem, the mini-train rides were unable to be chugged along, but Marine Street was lined with about four dozen vendors, from everything from church groups to CBD oils. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus, who came by through a special arrangement with Rnee and Cecil Bodrey, Sr. answered childrens’ questions from a special seat overlooking the harbor. 

Bobby and Heather Robison, from Crawfordville, were on hand with their children, from left, Riverly, Eden and Blake. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Rather than hold fireworks, which were daunting in cost and for some a threat to pets’ peace, the chamber decided to host a laser light show at the entrance to the event, with kids dancing and singing underneath the music-accompanied lights.

“We hope everyone who saw the laser show enjoyed it. I thought it was pretty fabulous,” said Dougherty. “Thanks to the community for coming out and supporting the event.”

Casey Sapp, right, and his fiancée Vallen Hrabb, of Carrabelle, just about sold out of their homemade baked goods. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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