By Amy Woodard
events2Many local residents kick off the holiday season with the tradition of watching the Christmas parade on the Alafia River. Head to the International Independent Showmen’s Association on Saturday, December 5 for the festivities. Riverview’s 26th Annual Alafia Lighted Boat Parade and Chili Cook-Off will be held from 5-10 p.m. The event is hosted by The Rotary Club of Riverview and will be held at 6915 Riverview Dr.  If you’re a boat owner, it’s time to get those Christmas lights out of the attic and decorate your boat. Judges will determine the top two best decorated boats in two different categories. Boats 24 feet and up will be judged separately from boats 23 feet and under. The first place winner of the large vessels will receive $750 and the second place winner will receive $250. For the smaller vessels, the first place winner will receive $350 and the second place winner will receive $150. The boats will launch from Williams Park and travel east the U.S. Hwy. 301 Bridge and circle counterclockwise and proceed back to Williams Park. Register by Monday, November 30 to be eligible for judging and prizes. The fee to enter is $25.You can view the parade from dry land and enjoy the many activities that are planned. Santa Claus will be there to get everyone in the holiday spirit and will provide children with a free picture with him. Food and drinks will be available to purchase. An exciting change to this year’s venue will be the addition of a carnival rides and inexpensive games for children. You also don’t want to miss the silent auction. Massage gift certificates, photography packages and lawyer services are just some of the items up for bids. Can you prepare a mean chili? Then enter the chili cook-off and let the people decide. Community residents and visitors can pay $5 to sample the chili and vote for their favorite. There is a $10 fee to enter and you must register by Monday, November 30. The top three winners of the chili cook-off will receive gift certificates from area restaurants.  Denise Rodriguez, president of The Rotary Club of Riverview, states, “We hope to attract over 1,500 people to this annual Riverview tradition.  It will be a fun-filled evening and all proceeds will fund charitable activities of Riverview Rotary. Sponsorships are available and we will work with your business to ensure you get maximum recognition and exposure for your promotional dollars.” For more information or to register for either event, check out or contact Rodriguez at 299-8616. If you would like to donate an item for the silent auction, contact Rodriguez to arrange for pick-up.

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