The Lacey Lights Boat Parade is returning a little later than usual this year. On Saturday, Sept. 15, more than 12 boats will light up the bay as they ride along the Barnegat.
The annual tradition is under new management, MarineMax, after the former organizer decided to no longer run the parade.
“They were going to cancel it and I found out about that,” Joe Gozdieski, of MarineMax, said. “I along with the local businesses decided to take it over.”
MarineMax, Captain’s Inn, the Forked River House, Rella’s, Rick’s Marina, Sea Tow, Latitude’s, Townsend’s Marina and Tide’s End Marina banned together to continue the Lacey tradition.
The parade will begin at sundown.
“We want anyone and everyone,” Gozdieski said. “We need boats to celebrate.”
The event will feature thousands of dollars in prizes. Prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed boats in three size categories: boats 23 feet and under, boats 24 to 32 feet and boats 33 feet and over.
Each of the sponsoring restaurants will also be having specials following the parade, Gozdieski said.
“We’re trying to make it an annual local event in September,” he said, adding that the parade used to be held in August. The even would be specifically for locals at the end of summer time. “We want to make it a nice party.”
As of Thursday, approximately 12 boats were registered for the parade but Gozdieski expects more by Saturday evening.
“Come enjoy it and have some fun,” he said.