LAKE NORMAN â€” The lake was a sea of red, white and blue Friday evening at Midtown Sundries Restaurant and Bar in Cornelius.
The first â€œLight Up the Lakeâ€ Parade, sponsored by Auto Sports by the Lake, was held just in time for July 4 and proved successful.
A whopping $3,000 was raised for the Lake Norman Marine Commission in order to help with their navigational aid program.
Many navigational aids on the lake need to be replaced or repaired and this money will be used to assist with keeping the lake well lit up at night.
The money was raised for the commission through the eventâ€™s sponsors, donations and boats entered in the parade.
There were 16 boats who made the path from Midtown Harbor to Ramsey Creek, Jetton parks and then reversing the route.
Many of the boats displayed some of their leftover Christmas lights, American flags and wreaths.
Chris Lundsten of Cornelius participated in the parade with her husband, triplets and some family friends.
Her boat won in two categories for Most Patriotic and Best Overall. She was famous for her â€œLake Norman USA,â€ which was sewn on a window screen.
Her boat was also decorated with an American flag, Christmas lights and bows from Target.
Other boats in the parade included a jetski boat which was done up like a shark, with blue lights on the side for fins, red lights on the back for a tail and a white light on the front for a nose.
There were 47 children who were there to judge the boats covering different categories such as most creative and best effort.
Many spectators and participants came early for the luau which was held at Midtownâ€™s new beach volleyball court. There were games for kids, prizes and raffles. Music was provided by Amy Broome.
There was also generous specials on Carolina Blondeâ€™s new beer called Carolina Light. The beer company used the event as an opportunity to launch their new product which is a low carb, low calorie beer.
This new product wants to be known as â€œLake Normanâ€™s Hometown Beer.â€
From now on, a portion of their beer sales will go towards the Marine Commission in order to help with the environmental programs on the lake such as the hydrilla program.
Jason Siekierski, a Cornelius resident, had 350 lights on his boat and was glad to be part of the parade.
â€œThatâ€™s why I wanted to participate because it is helping the marine commission,â€ he said.
His boat won for best color.
Heather Cleevely, one of the organizers for the event, said she is already getting calls from businesses who want to help out with next yearâ€™s event.
â€œA lot of these businesses are wishing they helped this year,â€ she said. â€œIt was a really good event and good for people to see.â€ by Amy Wadsworth