The Recorder – ‘Christmas on the River’ returns to Gill with boat parade, fireworks

Published: 08/16/2022 15:59:52

Modified: 08/16/2022 15:56:25

GILL — Amid one of the hottest summers on record in the nation, the Franklin County Boat Club is bringing some winter cheer to Barton Cove with the 19th annual “Christmas on the River” event this Saturday.

Originally dubbed “Christmas in July,” the day of festivities begins at the Franklin County Boat Club with family-friendly, members-only activities. A parade, which involves members’ boats circling Barton Cove to show off their Christmas-themed decor and light displays, will begin around 8 p.m. for the public to enjoy from Unity Park in Turners Falls on the other water side.

“We encourage our members to please, please, please decorate,” said event chair Sharon Constantine. “Some of our members decorate months in advance and others put their own together in a day or two, but they always do a great job.”

Parade participants will be judged by a panel based on the best presentation. First, second and third place winners will be chosen.

“The response to passing boats, the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ to passing boats, that helps to judge,” Constantine said.

Disc jockey Lee Tirrell will be playing music from a pontoon boat in the middle of Barton Cove throughout the evening, Constantine said. Two less local guests will also be in attendance, bringing holiday cheer from the North Pole.

“Mr. and Mrs. Claus will actually be at the bow of my boat,” Constantine said.

A fireworks display that Constantine says will be “spectacular” will close the night from around 9 p.m. The fireworks are also visible from Unity Park.

“We’re just hoping to spread the word so that as many people as possible can come watch,” she said.

The event is funded by contributors within the Franklin County Boat Club.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or [email protected]

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