Boaters are accepting the challenge to decorate their vessels for the annual Christmas sailpast at Harbour Quay, happening this year on Sunday, Dec. 9. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Boaters are accepting the challenge to decorate their vessels for the annual Christmas sailpast at Harbour Quay, happening this year on Sunday, Dec. 9. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Port Alberni’s annual sail past happening Dec. 9 at Harbour Quay

It’s the fifth year for the rejuvenated sail past, courtesy of Blue Marlin Inn

The Blue Marlin Inn’s fifth annual Great Sail Past will take place on Sunday, Dec. 9 on the waterfront at Centennial Pier and Harbour Quay in Port Alberni.

Events kick off with Santa Claus arriving at Portal Curios at the entrance to Harbour Quay at 4:30 p.m. He will be available for photos until 5:30 p.m.

A hotdog barbecue starts at 5 p.m. at Harbour Quay, and hot chocolate will also be available. The Salvation Army will have it’s van at the Quay to collect non-perishable food items for the community food bank.

“Scheduling for the sail past is all weather-permitting,” says organizer Sue Hopkins from the Blue Marlin Inn. Participating boats will marshal at the breakwater at Fisherman’s Wharf. The parade of boats will begin at 6 p.m.

“So far I’ve got eight boats and that’s not including the Mars Rustler, which will be in the harbour with the fireworks.”

The search and rescue boat will be in the harbour as well for safety reasons, Hopkins added.

The fireworks display will happen between 7–7:30 p.m.

There is always room for more decorated boats: anyone wanting to register can call Hopkins at 250-731-4320. There are prizes for first ($1,000), second ($500) and third ($250) best decorated boats, as well as gift bags for all runners up. Registration is $50 per vessel. Proceeds go towards the Alberni Valley Hospice Society.

The Port Alberni Port Authority is offering free moorage for boats entered in the Sail Past.

editor@albernivalleynews.com