Toy ride returns with new base location

Celebrating 22 years this year, the Toys Tour returns December 2-4 with a new venue in Palatka, Fla. The 2022 event will be from Riverfront Park, which is located in the small downtown area.

Among the last scheduled events on the water of any speedboat season, the Toys Tour returns to Palatka, Fla., December 2-4. Photo from the 2021 event by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“The new location will allow participants to have boats in the water, use the Palatka marina, better parking, and in a larger central location that is more convenient for everyone,” he said. Walt Braithwaite, vice president of Velocity Powerboats. executive director of Toys Tour, Inc., a 501(3)C non-profit organization. “VIP sponsors will have their own private dock and exclusive access throughout the event.”

Founded 22 years ago by Rus Matos, the Tour of Toys collects gifts for children who would otherwise not make it during the holidays. Event partners include the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the distribution of toys donated by Tour of Toys participants and the Putnam County Tourism Council, as well as sponsors from across the industry great water.

The 2021 event attracted 136 registered boats and more than 500 participants who donated more than 1,000 toys.

“This year’s Tour of the Toys will include a Friday afternoon for kids that will feature Santa and Mrs. Clause, the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot, Jax, and Jaguars cheerleaders,” Braithwaite said. Also new this year, Friday night’s kickoff event will include a pig roast and live music featuring DJ Louie.

Participants can register through the Toys Tour website. Donations are still available, and backers can contact Walt Braithwaite directly via email at [email protected].

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