Courtesy of Visit Frederick

Come aboard with Frederick’s Sailing through the Winter Solstice

Every winter Carroll Creek transforms into a makeshift dock for lighted boats for the community.

Sailing through the Winter Solstice allows the community of Frederick to come together to enjoy the art of others through string lights. This family-friendly event runs from noon on Nov. 18, at Carroll Creek Park in Downtown Frederick. The opening event includes music and food truck to keep the spirits high. The event is free.

The boats have great meaning for co-founder Peter Kremers.

“My son attended the Naval Academy, and it became a tribute to him while it continued to expand over the years,” he said.

According to Kremers, Sailing through the Winter Solstice started in 2016. He said the first boats created were based more around plants rather than the extravagant boats that are seen now.

“The boat making progress has gone through up and downs with trails and error with keeping the boats afloat,” said Kremers who has made roughly eight or nine boats during the past few years for this event.

As well as bringing much needed light to dark winter nights, these boats help with local needs as well.

The boats that can be seen on the creek help to raise funds for Color on the Creek, which according to its website, is “an all volunteer inspired and managed water garden located in the Carroll Creek Linear Park” in Downtwon Frederick. Visitors vote on their favorite boat at $1 boat with proceeds benefiting help Color on the Creek,

“The boats help raise funds for the water garden and are a way to help brighten our community while raising awareness and funds for local 501c3 charities,” said Elizabeth McGee, media coordinator for Sailing through the Winter Solstice.

Although the water can only fit a certain number of boats, “27 in the water this year”, said Kremers. Land sharks, which are boats on land, are another way for local businesses to get involved. Heavens to Betsy above Brewer’s Alley or The Holly Jolly Roger in front of the Wine Kitchen are some examples of land sharks you can spot according to McGee.

“Any business can sponsor a boat and choose a local charity that speaks to them,” McGee said, noting that most of the businesses involved are banks, landscaping, reality, and local primary care offices said McGee.

The boat that wins is given 90% of the earnings to their charity of choice while the rest goes to future projects for the community. More than 50 nonprofits were chosen last year and raised $130,000, Kremers said.

Seeing the boats will not be the only entertainment.

“We have our sponsors out with information on their charities, interactive games, a DJ, food trucks, boat rides and other activities.” McGee said.

Kremers suggests coming early on opening night. He said, “Expect to see a bigger crowd on opening night, “up to a couple of hundreds on a really big night.”

Overall, the goal of this event is not just a colorful winter event, Kremers said, but “to give people visually appealing, fun, family oriented, no messages, no politics, not a Christmas-themed parade but meant to be nice to see.”

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