The Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce has made an honest flotilla of what was previously an unofficial event. Joining Casino Night and Topsail Island Jeep Week as the third large event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, the highly anticipated Greater Topsail Flotilla & Christmas Market will take place on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Soundside Park in Surf City.
This video by Russell Williams (#Wilbur) was taken from the 2017 “unofficial” Topsail Flotilla.
This year marks the first ever Greater Topsail Flotilla, an idea presented by the Chamber’s Vice Chair for the Board of Directors and local businessperson, Allicyn Turnage. The boats starring in the flotilla itself are scheduled to set out onto the water around 5:30 pm. It will, however, be worth coming out earlier to enjoy this special festival. Unlike in years past, this year’s flotilla will also feature a Christmas market that will run from 3:00pm until 8:00pm. Although there won’t be any shuttle transportation to and from Soundside Park during the market and flotilla, the Surf City Shuttle Bus is available to help get private parties around the event.
The Greater Topsail Flotilla is not only a way to bring the community together in the spirit of the season. The flotilla and market also bring attention and patronage to incredible local businesses who are turning out by the dozens as vendors to support this new old tradition. A complete list of market vendors can be found here. We are excited that Southern Roots Food Truck will be there to feed the crowds and several tents offer drinks, such as local favorites the Daily Grind and Sundial Tea & Coffee. Fabulous stores such as Sandy Toes Boutique and Heavens to Betsy Boutique will be out as well. For anyone who has put off their Christmas shopping, this is an awesome opportunity to not only cross a few names off the list but to also demonstrate your support for our local economy.
Participants of past flotillas might find the biggest change is registering for the float. Forms for captains can be found at the Chamber of Commerce website, http://topsailchamber.org/greater-topsail-flotilla-2019/. The cost to register a boat is $40 but Chamber members can register for $30. The Chamber encourages all different types of boats and decorations to join the fun. Whether a corporate funded canoe or a family’s tinseled skipper, the more the merrier!
There is also the opportunity for contestants in the flotilla to win a cash prize, $500 for first place and $100 to the most spirited crew. Unlike the Wrightsville Beach Flotilla, the Greater Topsail Flotilla winners will be determined by judges rather than through an app. As this is the first official year for this flotilla, organizers at the Chamber of Commerce are as excited as we are to see how many boats join in the holiday cheer but are hoping for between 20 and 30 entries.
Being a Chamber member has more advantages than saving $10 on flotilla registrations. Members are eligible for free vendor spaces. For this, the first ever Greater Topsail Flotilla & Christmas Market, all 50 vendor spots were filled in less than a month. The perks of being a member can be beneficial for local businesses and nonprofit groups looking to receive more attention as the festival gains traction and popularity.
Come out and join the Greater Topsail community in a celebration of holiday cheer and dazzling coastal tradition all while supporting the economic health of our local community.
For more information about other area flotillas and all things Christmas, click here.
The Greater Topsail Flotilla & Christmas Market Facebook event page can be found here.