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Friday, December 19, 2008

Nautical and nice, Christmas Ships embark on new holiday river adventure

The Oregonian Staff

It is in the nature of the holiday season that by day, Richard Rich skippers a serviceable if aging and cluttered Tollycraft, but by night, he steers the crowd-pleasing firetruck, razzle-dazzling thousands of people on the banks of the inky Willamette for the Christmas Ship Parade.

"Some people drink. Some people do drugs. Some people have boats," Rich said. "It's so simple and true: A bad day on the water beats a good day at work."

For many of its 54 years, the parade ran on the Columbia River. Then 16 years ago, Rich, Jess Heitman and a few others decided the Willamette needed an edition, too. The parade is an all-volunteer event; any donations go toward insurance. read more...

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