Lambrecht Marina and the Parade of Lights
Since 2014, Lambrecht Marina (formerly Markley Marine) has been home to the “Parade of Lights” annual lighted boat parade on the Clinton River. Initially conceived by Harrison Township Supervisor Candice Miller in the late 1980s, and organized by Boat Town USA, a group of local businesses including Markley Marine, this event grew into a beloved summertime tradition. For one night, people decorated their docks and houses, and spectators gathered on the banks of the Clinton River as a flotilla of elaborately-decorated boats cruised by. Prizes were awarded – and still are – to the best decorated boats and houses. Unfortunately, the fun came to an end in its 21st year in 2008 due to lack of sponsorship and interest. It was revived in 2009, but the Great Recession eventually took its toll, and the number of participants dwindled to less than ten boats.
In early 2014, our tireless manager, Julie, approached the owners and suggested we resurrect this once-great event, which had always been the biggest party night of the year at Lambrecht Marina. Coming up with the idea of making it a charity event, Julie called many local businesses and potential sponsors to gauge their interest. Fortunately, she found businesses were receptive to reviving an event which brought an influx of dollars to the area. Julie also worked to get Harrison Township re-engaged in the event, and Representative Candice Miller was invited to be a judge. Miller helped organize the first “Festival of Lights” when she was the Township Supervisor. On August 2, 2014, the weather was perfect as the reinvented Parade of Lights kicked off, with 25 boats participating. Sponsors generously donated $2,500 for the Macomb County Sheriff Marine Division.
In 2015, we were able to get Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel to be a judge. In 2022 Jay Towers was kind enough to be one of our judges! Through Julie’s relentless efforts to garner boats and sponsors, we raised $5,500 for the Harrison Township Firefighters Giving Tree. In 2016, the Parade of Lights raised $7,500 for the Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG). The next year, almost $10.000 was raised for the Noble Odyssey Foundation, who funds the Harrison Township Sea Cadets. The Sea Cadets are a group of volunteers who conduct research on the Great Lakes aboard their boat, the 80 foot Pride of Michigan, which can be seen docked on the river across from Bumper’s Landing. In 2018, the Detroit Dog Rescue Shelter was the beneficiary to the tune of $12,800. The next year, we raised the most money ever, over $14,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Stilson Specialty Center, a pediatric urgent care center at Garfield and 19 Mile. Unfortunately, the 2020 Parade of Lights was canceled due to the pandemic. 2021 the proceeds went to ReJoyceful Animal Rescue and 2022 $18,144.00 , our record breaking year, was donated to Angels of Hope!
We are very proud to organize and host this great summer tradition that has raised over $85,000.00 for local charities. We also wish to thank over 50 businesses that have supported, and continue to support, the Parade of Lights, donating time and money to ensure the success of this spectacular event. And if you see her, thank Julie as well!
Boats will gather at Lambrecht Marina at 9 pm, and head west to Bridgeview then to the mouth of the Clinton River and back to the marina. This year the parade will take place August 5th, 2023. Don’t forget to check our Facebook page “Harrison Twp. Parade of Lights" If you are interested in being a sponsor, please call Julie at 586-469-6000.
If you would like to participate in this years parade please contact Julie for details.
Lambrecht Marina in the News
July 23, 2019
August 2, 2018
August 4, 2016
July 31, 2014 – Macomb Daily
July 13, 2014 – Macomb Daily
March 27, 2008