Everyone is invited to attend whether you drive a boat or not. The only admission fee is as many new toys as you can provide for boys and girls ages 2 through 16 years old. Please do not wrap them so that the folks at the Adopt-An-Angel program can classify them and make sure they go to the proper gender and age group. They will wrap them.
If you would rather just give us money to buy the gifts for you or your company we will be happy to give the task to one of our elves.
If you are taking your boat on the run (we hope you are) then you need to meet us at Surfside Marina under the Surfside Big Bridge at 0830 on Saturday, December 2nd. Get there early so you can get your boat in the water, load toys, and then load more toys we will have for you to take.
We will leave there at 0930 and make our way to the first stop at Matagorda Harbor. Along the way we will go through locks at the Brazos River and at Sargent. Other boats will join us along the way.
We usually arrive at Matagorda Harbor around 1130 or so and tie up and join everyone else for the lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant. These folks put on some mean food...including a dynamite shrimp basket, po-boys, burgers and other great food. You can also get fuel at Matagorda if your boat has a small tank, uses a lot of fuel, or you forgot to fill up at Freeport.
We are on the water again by 1:00 PM headed to Port O'Connor. We will have to go through a couple sets of locks at Matty and then head on down the ICW until we reach Matagorda Bay. It is here that we go across the only open water part of the trip. In years past we have mostly had great weather but several times it has been really snotty. What we do for the smaller boats is place you either behind or on the lee side of a larger boat so that you do not experience a bad ride. The bay is not that far across so any misery is fleeting.
When we get to the little jetties at POC we all assemble just inside the protected waters and form a parade down the ICW past all the homes and then turn back and enter the channel to The Inn At Clark's. The Inn is our host hotel and where we unload toys. The big boats usually tie off at the Caracol Marina which is just next door. The great folks with the Adopt-An-Angel program will have vehicles and trailers to load the toys at both places.
After the toys are offloaded, TV stations have their film, interviews done, we usually have a catered meal. It may be free or cost a small amount. Depends upon how much we can get from our supporters. In any event there are various restaurants in POC and our party headquarters also has some great food. After the meal everyone starts decorating their boats for the fantastic lighted boat parade.
The lighted boat parade has turned into the largest one on the entire Texas coast...because of us. Everyone decorates their boats in Christmas themes and we parade down the ICW in front of hundreds of spectators. There are a lot of kids and we usually throw Mardi-Gras beads, candy and other treats to them along the way. If you are in the parade for one of the many trophies and cash prizes you will need to register (free) prior to the parade and you will be judged at the end of the route. In years past the U.S. Coast Guard cutter has been a big winner but lately we have stolen some of their thunder. We hope to take the big prize away from them again this year.
At the end of the parade one of our favorite teams and superb supporter "Team Marsh" puts on a truly spectacular fireworks show from the middle of the ICW. The spectators and Toy Run participants all love this show. Team Marsh is just a step above with their support.
Following the parade we have the parade awards ceremony. This all takes place at Clark's.
Next day the ladies club in POC host a free breakfast for us at Clark's. Great coffee, taquitos, and other food is available until it runs out. Problem is, it doesn't run out so hope you have an appetite. After breakfast each captain is on his/her own to get back to Freeport but most will team up.
15th Annual Toy Run
Depart Freeport at 0930 on December 2nd (Saturday)