Coastal NC towns mark holidays with waterway parades

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(Wrightsville Beach stock photo)

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A collection of coastal North Carolina cities are launching the holiday season by inviting boat owners to illuminate their crafts and join a waterway parade.

Wrightsville Beach, Swansboro, Jacksonville, Topsail Island, Morehead City, Pine Knoll Shores and Beaufort are all preparing to host holiday flotillas this year. Swansboro begins the celebrations along its waterfront on Friday. Topsail Island’s annual parade of decorated and lighted boats sails down the Intracoastal Waterway beginning at sunset on Friday.

Getting to see the Wrightsville Beach event will be a bit more challenging this year. Drawbridge construction will mean it will take longer to get on and off the island for the boat parade Saturday. About 50,000 people will be on the beach for the parade and show.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)