Due to a lack of funds and questions about the weekend event, North Carolina Holiday Flotilla board members have decided to opt out of promoting the event and selling event merchandise under the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market community tent.
Chairwoman Linda Brown said she does not know if the flotilla needs to be formally involved in the community tent, but added during the Monday, Aug. 26, meeting that the market could change next year.
“Financially it has not been very effective for us,” Brown said.
Only about $232 was taken in from flotilla merchandise sales.
“I think it’s not worth that effort,” Brown said. “I think we do well enough on our own. … To me, the [Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce] needs to be in charge of setting that up.”
Merchandise from previous years will be revamped this year with a new or refurbished logo, which is still in the works. The board is talking about possibly throwing merchandise to parade onlookers as done one past year.
“It’s fun to do, and the crowd loves it,” said Rick Crowder, board member.
As far as planning goes, the board is still far ahead of its typical schedule with 21 boats already signed up for the parade and only nine more spots open.
“We have some interesting new people this year,” Brown said, adding that one, who registered as Jay, the Winner, registered a 1976 restored houseboat.
The board previously requested the North Carolina Department of Transportation to keep three lanes open on the Heide Trask Drawbridge for the event, as is done for Beach2Battleship, but Brown found out during a recent meeting that might not be possible.
She said she went to the meeting with a negative attitude, but left feeling better when she realized everyone is working together.
American Bridge Company, the contractor, is scheduled to be in the middle of the epoxy overlay portion of the renovation project during the flotilla weekend, Nov. 29-30.
“I came out of there thinking, wow that was pretty cool,” Brown said. “… I thought it was well worth the hour and a half there.”
Pres Davenport, who is in charge of media and relations, said the media event on July 27 announcing the 17-foot Carolina Skiff grand prize was well received. Two videos will soon be uploaded to the website, www.ncholidayflotilla.org