Lights on Lake Tarpon!


A lighted boat parade in celebration of the holiday season


December 10, 2005


Jack Willie’s Tarpon Turtle hosted the parade event with complimentary snacks and refreshments, and a boat decorating contest with great prizes from area businesses.  The restaurant and bait shop are expected to open mid-February 2006.


Jack Willie’s Tarpon Turtle is located on the northwest corner of Lake Tarpon and had their patio area open one night only (during construction) just for this special event.  The decorating contest selected winners for the following five categories:


  1. Tiny Traveler (smallest decorated vessel – best decoration will be tie breaker)
  2. Theatrically Themed (find your focus with Florida, unicorns, pirates – whatever!)
  3. Lightest and Brightest (most lights – spotlights in judges eyes don’t count!)
  4. Party Barge (loudest, wackiest group you can safely fit on a vessel)
  5. Crowd Pleaser (the one that makes judges go “ooohhh, aaahhh”)


After the contest everyone took a quick tour around Lake Tarpon to show off everyone’s skilled splendor for each other and the lakefront land lovers.  See the pictures below for some of the winners


Prizes for the contests were provided by generous area businesses such as Jack Willie’s Tarpon Turtle, Sam Seltzer’s Steak House, Lake Tarpon Boat Club, Hooters Restaurant, Tarpon Tom’s Bait and Tackle, and many more!  Winners will received a decorative flag for their vessel (in lieu of a ribbon) to show off ‘til next year!


Many thanks to Michelle, Maggie and Don for organizing this special event that drew over 200 people!


Before the crowd gathered and the sun went down it was a good time to look at the construction progress.  Here you can see the magnificent stone decor on the outside bar.


Most of the tables will be in this area, where every table has an outside view.


The far building will be the bait shop.  The shoreline cypress trees were preserved.


The dock was completely rebuilt


Here is a contender for lightest and brightest.  The winner had even more lights and a large Santa on the front.  Unfortunately, we could not get the winner boat to the dock for a photo (all photos are 5 second exposures, so the boat had to be very still).


The winner of the Theatrically themed boat was playing Disco music and had a disco ball hanging from above (see pix below). 


Which is better, the costumes or the lighting?  You decide.  The music made it all a great 70's flashback.


Just a few lights made a big impression here.


This brightly lit ski boat looks like it's going 90MPH thanks to the time exposure.  It's actually going slower than most people walk.


If we had a prize for best catered, this boat would win.


This fun group won for Party Barge (actually 2 boats)


Not sure where the turtle is?  Here's a map.


Watch this site for next year's Christmas Parade announcement!