Sunday, November 20, 2005

Canal Boat Light Parade 20th November 2005.

Following the success of the previous canal boat parade, the organizers really went to town on this years event. Lasers and fireworks added to the colourful spectacle of the brilliantly decorated boats and thousands of people turned out to watch.
Yet again I am indebted to Second City Canal Cruises for allowing my daughter and I to ride on board the Narrow Boat Europe during the parade. Also on board was the violin virtuoso Pete Hartley who wowed the crowds with his music as we sailed past. And yet again, the real and genuine Father Christmas (all the others are lame imitations) joined us after he had parked his reindeer in New Street. Also on board were a few chosen friends of the boats owners. We did not win the prize for the best decorated boat but we were the FUN boat to be on.
Here are some photos of the event, and of the city scenery on the way to the canals.

( I would like to know the names of the various boats pictured.. I'm sorry but I was far too busy enjoying myself to worry about the important stuff... but it was a fantastic day!!)
Info please to
A modern city Christmas. The contemporary style tree pictured against the new Selfridges building.
One of several reindeer on display to the crowds on New Street. Presumably waiting for it's owner, Father Christmas, who is taking part on the canal boat parade.
One of the stalls at the Frankfurt Christmas Market, this one selling puppets and dolls.
A large selection of exquisite confectionery.
The market is very busy despite the rapidly dropping temperature.
The entrance to Santa's Grotto.
The Chamberlain monument surrounded by the Christmas trees of Santa's Grotto.
After taking a short-cut through Symphony Hall (and getting warm for a few minutes) we arrive at the canal to see the "dragon-boat" Aquarius testing the water... there's a joke there somewhere.
A photograph taken near the NIA showing just a few of the boats being prepared.
A Christmas tree adorns the front of this boat.
A reindeer on the stern of Noah's Ark, actually the narrow boat Omega 2 and eventual winner of the best decorated boat... divine intervention?
The Europe, of Second City Canal Cruises.
Steam Boat Willie.

The Dragonfly, also of Second City Canal Cruises.
Scores of brightly-lit boats wait for the off.
Pete Hartley warms up on the towpath.
Father Christmas stretches his legs by the Europe trip-boat.
A beautifully adorned boat looms from the darkness....
... and passes by to join the parade of boats.

I can't believe what I'm seeing here.. what is it?
It's a dragon... and a very fierce-looking one.
Jingle Bells.
The sign-post at Old Turn Junction has been transformed into a light-house. The Malt House pub is behind.
Everything seems to be lit up, including the water.
Crowds of onlookers on the bridge.
The entrance to Broad Street Tunnel has been turned into a giant dragon's mouth.

Father Christmas waves from the County Air Ambulance boat.
A launch glides past. (I think this was a pirate ship last year).
Approaching the Mailbox, boats everywhere.
Fountains with real flames in them! Breathtaking, but my photography does not do them justice.

The BBC studios.

The Aquarius.. illuminated now.
Steam Boat Willie.


We're off to see the wizard.....

... the Tin Man and the Lion at the front, Dorothy has a rest behind.
Noah's Ark, this time being steered by Noah himself.

It's that dragon again, but most of the lights are out now.
The Pioneer, the rear of the dragon.

After the parade, a fireworks display from the top of the Hyatt Hilton.. a good idea, everybody can get a good view of the fireworks (except those in the Hyatt.. ha ha)
Pete Hartley enjoys the fireworks, Rudolf enjoys the music.
Pete's website is at

The fireworks continue.
A laser show displays over Gas Street Basin.
On the way back through town another shot of the Chamberlain monument in it's personal forest.