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Awash with light

By DANIELLE E. GAINES

dgaines@newspost.com

Spectators along Carroll Creek were bundled up on Sunday as a few brave souls entered the chest-high water to anchor more than a half-dozen lighted boats.

Wintry winds whipped up miniature whitecaps, but that didn’t stop the installation of “Sailing through Winter Solstice,” which will light up Carroll Creek for a second year.

“It just brings a brightness and a festive atmosphere to the drab and cold creek,” said Kyle Thomas, co-founder of the winter event with Pete Kremers, who created Color on the Creek, which installs tropical floral plants to beautify and clean the creek in warmer months.

Each of the boats in this year’s display will benefit a Frederick-based charity. Thirty percent of the total amount raised will benefit Color on the Creek, and 70 percent will go to charities chosen by the business sponsors, Kremers said.

There are seven boats on the water: BB&T Bank’s “All We See Is You,” Colonial Jewelers’ “Hope Floats,” Flying Dog Brewery’s “Snake Dog,” Property Management People’s “Casa Galleggiante,” The Rotary Club of Carroll Creek’s “Carroll Creek Clipper,” The Tourism Council of Frederick County’s “Frederick” and The Wine Kitchen’s “Stargazer.”

Each business designed, built and named its boat and is organizing charity fundraising efforts connected to the light display.

Patty Hurwitz was on the creek Sunday morning to check the lights and sails on Colonial Jewelers’ boat, “Hope Floats.” The vessel — which spotlights The Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund that was established after Patty’s diagnosis of breast cancer almost 20 years ago — features bright pink lights and a pink ribbon.

“I’m really pleased with it. It turned out great,” Hurwitz said, after the boat’s sails of stringed lights were unfurled.

Hurwitz and others huddled in the wind before the boat would be lowered into the water later that afternoon.

“It will be a good test of the wind,” she said.

During last year’s first event, the “Stargazer,” an 18-foot-tall Christmas- themed boat, sank because of high winds soon after it was launched — but it was re-anchored and displayed again the next day.

The boats represent months of work for the groups that created them. The 10-member sailboat committee of the Rotary Club met every Wednesday for months to build its clipper.

It was two men who aren’t Rotary members, but are friends of the organization — David Collins and Josh Donofry — who braved the creek waters on Sunday to help lower the clipper into place.

“Your legs do start to get cold,” said Collins, who wore into the waters a water-tight kayaking suit that kept fleece underneath dry.

“There’s no place I’d rather be on a Sunday,” said Donofry, with a smile. His chest-high waders kept him mostly dry, but the water crested over a few times. “It’s not too bad,” he said.

(See BOATS M8)

Two lighted boats bob on Carroll Creek as part of the “Sailing through Winter Solstice” display installed on Sunday.

News-Post photo by Danielle E. Gaines

(Continued from M3) The boats will stay on the creek through February’s “Fire in Ice” First Saturday event, which has become one of the biggest winter events in the city, said Melissa Muntz, a Rotary member who is also marketing and communications manager for Visit Frederick.

“Color on the Creek makes the creek beautiful in the warm months, so they were looking for options to beautify the creek in the colder months,” Muntz said.

Almost six hours after the installation started on Sunday morning, the final boats were in place just as the sun was setting in the distance.

“I think people are going to enjoy seeing the lights and the reflections on the water,” Kremers said.

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

The final boat in the “Sailing through Winter Solstice” display on Carroll Creek is secured as the sun sets on Sunday evening.

News-Post photos by Danielle E. Gaines

Members of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek lower the “Carroll Creek Clipper” into the water during the installation of the “Sailing through Winter Solstice” display on Sunday morning.

Kyle Thomas, David Collins and Peter Kremers carry the BB&T boat, “All We See Is You,” underneath a bridge over Carroll Creek.

A crew works on untangling the sails of Colonial Jewelers’ “Hope Floats” boat.

Volunteers for the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek move the “Carroll Creek Clipper” toward an anchor in the center of the creek.

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