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Iconic restaurant closing, weather force Christmas parade cancellation in York County

Boats decked in ‘over-the-top’ holiday displays light up Lake Wylie

The Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce's annual Lights on the Lake Holiday Boat Parade saw boats large and small docked Saturday night at T-Bones on the Lake, near the Buster Boyd Bridge. Hundreds of people gathered to gaze at the illuminated boats. M
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The Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce's annual Lights on the Lake Holiday Boat Parade saw boats large and small docked Saturday night at T-Bones on the Lake, near the Buster Boyd Bridge. Hundreds of people gathered to gaze at the illuminated boats. M

One of York County’s more unique holiday activities won’t be happening this year.

Lake Wylie’s annual holiday boat parade is canceled for 2018, the chamber announced Friday.

The event was scheduled for Dec. 15. The Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the parade, in statement named several reasons for the decision.

An ownership change at long-time host T-Bones on the Lake was one.

“Due to circumstances beyond control with the sale and closing of T-Bones, the Lake Wylie Holiday Boat Parade and Christmas by the Lake is being canceled for this year,” reads the statement.

In mid-November, T-Bones announced on its Facebook page an agreement was in place for Bottle Cap Group to take over the restaurant. T-Bones served the lake community for 24 years. The move requires renovations that will temporarily close the restaurant.

Efforts to obtain comment Friday from Bottle Cap Group were unsuccessful.

The restaurant posted on Facebook that Nov. 30 is “the last Friday for T-Bones on the Lake,” the last day for a long-time server and the last happy hour at the restaurant.



It’s only the second time canceling the boat parade in its three decades. In 2006, a drought made the lake unsafe for boating. Instead the chamber hosted a land parade and car show. In 2016, the chamber held a stationary parade and boats didn’t leave T-Bones’ docks because of low water levels from drought.

Weather played a role in the decision this year, too.

“In addition to location needs, with this year’s heavy rains and lake conditions leaving large limbs and debris floating on the lake and in coves, it has been determined that it is not safe to have the parade and boats out on the lake and in (the) dark,” the chamber statement said. “Location, logistics, safety and liability concerns are all factors in this decision.”

The chamber intends to hold the event again next year.

“The Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with the new owners of T-Bones on the Lake to have a great event next year,” reads the statement.

The Lights on the Lake boat parade is, along with the July 4 fireworks display, one of the largest and best known community events in the unincorporated area of Lake Wylie. It’s also one of only two annual boat parades on the lake, with Tega Cay hosting a patriotic boat parade each July 4.

Christmas by the Lake began in 2014 with the chamber’s boat parade to include food, warm drinks, Santa visits, nativity scene and other family attractions.

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