Enchanted Airlie launches month-long holiday show
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – Large crowds gathered Thanksgiving week in Wrightsville Beach for the 11th season opening of Enchanted Airlie and the 32nd Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla. Opening nights at 67-acre Airlie Gardens were completely sold out, with holiday light and sound shows continuing through December 22.
Saturday’s holiday flotilla followed a 4-mile route, idling past an estimated 50,000 visitors, and passed the judges’ viewing stand at Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Twenty-three yachts, sailboats and motorboats, each competing for cash, prizes, and bragging rights, were brightly decorated with thousands of twinkling lights in a variety of holiday themes.
In a first for the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla, Captain Mike Hamby of Wilmington used his holiday decorated boat as a surprise wedding proposal. When passing his girlfriend on the parade route, Captain Hamby flipped a switch lighting up the words: “Sharon, will you marry me?” Sharon Edelstein of Wilmington accepted the proposal via cell phone with Hamby illuminating her answer on the side of his boat.
Flotilla evening ended with a stunning 4,000-round fireworks display by Zambelli International, illuminating the night sky, and showering the waterway with sound and color.
Text voting continued this year, with Crowd Favorite and People’s Choice Awards determined by spectators.
Fall weather conditions for the week were ideal, with clear skies, highs in the 60s and 70s, with lows mostly in the 50s.
2015 winners include:
Captain: Brent Jernigan
Vessel: Craig Cat
Theme: Merry Marlin
Captain: Ava and Scott Werstein
Theme: Santa Claws Furtilla
Captain: Lindley College
Theme: Snow Wars
Captain: Christopher Bishop
Vessel: Bella Mare
Theme: Santa’s On Vacation December 26th
Captain: Mark Dillon
Vessel: Summer Salt
Theme: Top Gun
Captain: Chris Spivey
Vessel: 5 o’clock Somewhere
Theme: Here We Come a Whale-sa-ling
Captain: Patric and Christina Hudson
Theme: Have an Awesome Lego Christmas
Flotilla website: www.NCHolidayFlotilla.org
Pres Davenport, Board Chairman
North Carolina Holiday Flotilla