LAKELAND — Five boats participated in the first-ever WWALS Light Parade on Banks Lake, with 30 to 40 viewers on the fishing pier, at the winter solstice Dec. 21.

“We had lots of spectators and enjoyed the evening with our S’Mores and hot chocolate,” said Shelby Miller, who came up with the idea of the WWALS Light Parade.

The winners were:

♦ First place: Bobby McKenzie

♦ Second place: Eli Harrell

♦ Third place: Allison Ray

McKenzie donated his $50 first prize back money to WWALS. Shelby Miller donated the $50 split between the second- and third-place winners.

McKenzie, who is also the WWALS Outings Committee chair,man remarked, “One lesson learned is to start the paddle later in the evening. The observers seemed to feel like they were waiting too long. However, that’s what the cookies, hot chocolate and S’mores were intended to help relieve.“

WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS), a 501(c)(3) educational charity established in 2012, advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. WWALS is the Waterkeeper Alliance member for the Suwannee River Basin as Suwannee Riverkeeper.

For information, contact John S. Quarterman at or call (229) 242-0102.

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