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Boats light up for annual Bourne End parade

Lights and fireworks lit up The River Thames for the fourth illuminated boat parade at the weekend.

The Bourne End Illuminated Boat Parade – which started in Spade Oak Reach – hosted 25 ‘magical’ boats as they cruised to The Bounty pub in the village, equipped with their own unique display of light.

All proceeds from the event went to the pub’s Mama Amelia orphanage charity.

Hundreds of people watched from the banks as a range of big and small craft competed for the top accolade of best illumination.

Among the entries were a Loch Ness monster boat, the overall winner, and a canoe decorated in Christmas lights, which collected the best small vessel trophy.

Also featuring was an ABBA tribute boat and an aeroplane fitted onto the mast of a yacht.

The parade was organised by a group of residents living on the river who say they love seeing it in use.

An organiser said: “It was magical, it is one of those very rare events where it was a well behaved, special moment. It was also a chance to enjoy the river at the end of the season.

“The level of creativity is going up. Everyone wants to out-do everyone else, the variety of crafts is wonderful.

“There were about 25 boats taking part and a big turn-out on the banks. It is open to anyone. We don’t want to put anyone off entering – someone turned up just with Christmas lights (and won).”

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