May 29, 2022

Trees in the Rigging Boat Parade Winners Announced

TREES IN THE RIGGING event organizers and boat parade participants from left to right are George Graf, Essex Historical Society; Bill Stevens, TONY M. crew member; Jerry Roberts, Connecticut River Museum; Lee Thompson, Essex Mariner; Jon Manafort owner of TONY M.; Bob Higgins, TONY M. crew member; and Patrick Kilty, owner of ISHKOODAH.

On Friday, Dec. 10, organizers and participants in this year’s Trees in the Rigging boat parade gathered at the Connecticut River Museum to celebrate victory in the annual holiday boat decorating contest. 

The event, held on Nov. 28, featured festively-lit vessels passing in review in front of the Connecticut River Museum on the Essex waterfront. 

Jon Manafort, owner of the TONY M. won first place for converting his 31-foot aluminum workboat into a spectacular holiday locomotive.  He received a wooden boat model donated by the Essex Mariner as his prize. 

Second place was awarded to Dan and Cheryl Malone for their clever “Port & Starboard” light display that covered the 42-foot CHERYL ANN.  A messenger bag donated by Boatique was the second place prize award. 

Third place honors went to Patrick Kilty and Angus MacDonald Jr., owners of the ISHKOODAH, a 37-foot sloop that featured classically-lit rigging and Santa’s sleigh in tow as its dinghy.  They received a Connecticut River Museum membership and CRM burgee. 

Trees in the Rigging is a community event presented annually by the Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Historical Society, and the Essex Board of Trade.