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Date of Issue: November 17, 2005

Privateers bring horses to parade

No walking in the holiday parade is the rule - it's Island-long and much too long to walk. Now, though, there will indeed be walkers, and they'll have four legs.

The Privateers have lined up at least 50 horses for their traditional Christmas parade Dec. 10, thanks to Ed Mc Adam, Bradenton Beach building official. A horseman and rancher, he has close ties to the Manatee-Sarasota Equestrian Society, which is providing mounts and riders for the Islanders' Christmas cheer.

Other prominent participants will include the Privateers' ship, the big boat on a truck chassis, and the organization's sleigh occupied as usual by Santa Claus, said Scott Hirsch, president of the Privateers. 

There are practically no limits on paraders, except that they must have wheels and present some kind of holiday theme. There is no entry fee, but the Privateers would like to have their entry form filled out so they can keep track of who's who and for liability purposes. Those forms may be obtained by calling parade organizers Greg and Sue Luzier at 752-5973 or Elizabeth Cline at 778-8518.

It will organize at Bayfront Park on the north end of the Island and at 10 a.m. head down Gulf Drive, on Palm until it becomes Marina Drive, the Gulf Drive again south to East Bay Drive and south on Gulf again to Coquina Beach, where it is expected to end about noon. 

There, Santa Claus - arriving last in his Privateers' sleigh - will distribute gifts to all children. The kids also will get hot dogs and sodas free. Adults may munch there too, but the sponsors hope the grownups will donate some cash for the privilege.

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