Bring a donation…party with the Queen! Annapolis’ favorite boat, Watermark’s Harbor Queen is excited to host “The Queen of All Food Drives” during the Annual Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade on Saturday, December 10 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The holiday food drive benefits the Anne Arundel County Food Bank. For a donation of non-perishable food items, pet food or a monetary donation, guests can watch the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade from Harbor Queen at the end of City Dock, a prime viewing location for this Annapolis holiday tradition. Watermark’s crew and staff members will decorate Harbor Queen in bright holiday lights and décor. The boat will stay dockside for the evening with entertainment on board. The Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce is also a sponsor.
Debbie Gosselin, President of Watermark says, “Harbor Queen has long been a part of Annapolis’ maritime tradition. Now that she’s just completed her 45th season at City Dock, The Queen of All Food Drives is a great way for her to give back to the community during another maritime tradition, the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade. It is a team effort – Watermark employees donate and loan holiday decorations for Queen, they’ll spend time working together decorating the boat, and many are volunteering their time to welcome guests and collect donations during the event. Seeing Harbor Queen lit up like a Christmas tree is fun for all.”
In addition to the festive décor and the great view of the Parade, there will be complimentary light snacks on board provided by Wegmans and a full cash bar with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Food Bank. The Chesapeake Revelers will provide live entertainment through great songs and stories. This group of dedicated performers from the Chesapeake Theater Company and Chesapeake Youth Players can be found in seasonal venues throughout the region. Appearing in period costume, the Victorian carolers donned in top hates, capes, holly and ribbon will wassail and make merry with all!
The public is encouraged to dress warmly and bring their holiday spirit to Annapolis City Dock to help those in need while enjoying a festive Annapolis tradition. Donations of non-perishable food items, pet food or monetary donations will gain access to the viewing platform on Harbor Queen to watch the Lights Parade. A suggested donation value is $10 per person. The event is “open house” style with guests free to come and go throughout the evening. On-leash pets are welcome on board. Representatives from the Food Bank will be in attendance. There are no advanced reservations; guests should walk up to Harbor Queen’s slip at the end of City Dock for the festivities.
This is the fifth “Queen of All Food Drives.” Inspired by Claudette McDonald, longtime Watermark staff member, in 2011, the event has raised approximately $6,000 and collected 2,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank. The food drive will benefit our area’s neediest citizens. Founded in 1986, the Food Bank is the only free, multi-purpose Agency in Maryland that provides food, nutritional supplements, medical equipment, furniture, vehicles, appliances, and more to those in need, free of charge. One in 16 residents in Anne Arundel County are below the poverty line; over 1/3 are children and the Anne Arundel County Food Bank serves these citizens. 43,730 people in Anne Arundel County are food insecure, unsure where they will get their next meal. Of this 16.3% or 20,210 are children. (Feeding America, 2011)
In 2014 the Anne Arundel County Food Bank supplied food for 59 pantries, 11 Soup Kitchens, 21 Shelters and 19 School Back Pack programs throughout Anne Arundel County. They also support seasonal programs such as winter relief, free community events and dinners for those in need, free summer camps and summer programs to under privileged children as well as participating annually in AA County Homeless Resource Day.
For more information about The Queen of All Food Drives and Watermark, visit cruisesonthebay.com.