Woodland will host a parade of lighted kayaks on warm summer nights
Sebastien Rubino / [email protected]
The first-ever parade of lighted kayaks will debut at Horseshoe Lake Park in Woodland on Friday, July 22
Organizer Leslie O’Keefe-Lawley was inspired to start the event after seeing a similar event at Lake Sacajawea.
“We are coordinating with the City of Woodland for their event, which is called ‘Hot Summer Nights’ and ‘Movies in the Park’, so there will be two different activities for people to choose from, such as the Lighted Kayak Parade, watching the movie in the park and a live band that starts at 6 p.m.,” O’Keefe-Lawley said. “We’re basically working with the Town of Woodland to put on a fun, free-for-all family event.”
She said part of the reason she decided to organize the Lighted Kayak Parade is because she aims to have more community events in Woodland.
“We’re growing very quickly, so we need to have more fun family events that can bring people into the community,” O’Keefe-Lawley said.
Sacajawea Lake holds its floodlit kayak parade in December, but O’Keefe-Lawley wanted to host Woodland’s version of the event during a warmer time of year.
“Unfortunately, I kayak in good weather, so it’s usually cold and rainy in December. I came up with the idea of doing Christmas in July because we’re probably likely to have a better turnout when the weather is nicer,” she said. “I love kayaking and thought it would be fun to take a little ride, put some lights on your kayak and get out there and have some fun.”
At first, O’Keefe-Lawley wasn’t sure how the city would react to her idea since she had never held an event like this before, but when she called them, she said they were very happy. useful. She then applied for an event permit and had to get approval from the city council.
“We were lucky this year to do it on short notice, and we were able to just add the kayak parade to Hot Summer Nights and Movies in the Park,” O’Keefe-Lawley said. “The city was very excited to add this event, so they invited us to make it a tradition in Woodland.”
O’Keefe-Lawley will be bringing her own kayak to the event. She plans to decorate it with LED light strips. She was able to find battery-operated models on Amazon, which she will place on the outside of the kayak to make it look like a sailboat.
O’Keefe-Lawley also plans to hand out ribbons for Best in Show categories, Brightest Lights and Most Creative Entry.
After spreading the word about the event on Facebook, she was surprised at how interested people were. Last week, she said 250 people were interested in attending or participating in the event. She also said at least 30 people have pledged to bring their kayaks, paddleboards or canoes.
There is no limit to the number of craft that can be shown as long as everyone leaves by 10:30 p.m., per city orders, she said.
The same day Movies in the Park event will feature Space Jam.
The parade of illuminated kayaks will take place from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on July 22.
More information can be found online at facebook.com/events/747193466329974/?ref=newsfeed.