Saturday, December 24, 2016
I went to Without A Paddle Cafe, (1000 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779) for the second annual Boat Parade on the Wekiva River. Parking on site was packed, so I drove a block away to Publix and parked there. There was snow being blown from the rooftop of the cafe. It melted on my sleeve just like real snow but then we re no flakes. They were more like lumps and I suspect they were soap suds. I made sure my computer brief case was closed up so the suds couldn't damage my digital sketchpad. All the wooden dock side chairs were taken so I found an empty spot between camping chairs and picnic blankets.
The first board spread down the river with Christmas lights ablaze, and the driver held up an air horn and blasted the crowd. Every one stood up, so I finished the sketch while standing. Small boats followed in succession up the river. One had a large round nose on the bow and antlers. It was clearly Rudolph. An other board had Christmas light lined butterfly wings which animated when a pulley and rope was pulled. The winner for the evening was a small boat decorated to look like a steam train engine. The most popular decorating ate rice was tree branches, which when wrapped in lights look like a deer antlers. On the opposite shore lights outlined Christmas Tree shapes. Spotlights illuminated the dark woods. At the corner of the cafe stood a totem that looked to me like a tall sea creature with large black eyes. On closer inspection, I discovered that it was actually lashed together canoes. The black eyes were spot lights. I preferred to imagine it being an exotic squid shaped creature.
Inside the cafe, I noticed Beth Black performing on violin. There was a large area covered in snow, or more likely crushed ice. And kids were having a snowball fight with the slushy mess. I picked some up just to feel the cold. Stilt walking angels had white Christmas lights to outline their wings. Mr. and Mrs. Claus were on a boat with lame Christmas lights that blinked of mire often than they were on. That didn't dampen the crowds enthusiasm as they shouted and waved to him.