On Saturday night, Poston and his friends from Wharf Life DC, an independent news source about the Wharf, will pay tribute to Washington’s World Series title with a Nats-themed entry in D.C.’s annual Holiday Boat Parade. While upward of 70 vessels will transform the Washington Channel into a floating winter wonderland of lights as part of this year’s festivities, Sojourner should be easy to spot among the water-skiing Santas. Just look for the boat with the 12-foot reproduction of the Commissioner’s Trophy.
“There’s no hiding what we’re doing,” said Poston, the editor of WharfLifeDC.com, which launched over the summer. “A lot of other participants are able to keep what they’re doing under wraps, but we stick out like the world’s largest World Series trophy.”
Poston said a friend who works for Tiffany and Co., which has created the Commissioner’s Trophy for every World Series champion since 2000, first suggested the idea of building a model of the trophy around the time of the Nationals’ World Series parade. Over the past month, Poston was part of a five-member team that gathered periodically to design and build the replica as close to scale as possible. There was a lot of geometry and algebra involved.
The 30 poles around the plywood base were cut from wooden closet rods after an engineer on the design team determined that PVC pipes would sway too much. The flags atop the poles were cut from sheets of corrugated plastic and topped with styrofoam spheres. Then came the paint job.
“We went through an awful lot of spray paint,” Poston said. “Silver for the flagpoles and sparkling gold for the flags.”
Poston, who attended almost every Nationals home playoff game in October, has lived with his daughter, Ava, in Gangplank Marina since 2016. Saturday will mark his fourth year participating in the parade.
“It’s very competitive, so every year people think of new ideas to outdo each other,” he said. “In past years, we’ve participated for fun and kind of a joyride — a good last cruise of the boating season before we put our boats up until spring. It’s a friendly competition, but this year, we’re in it to win it.”
Prizes will be awarded for several different categories, ranging from the coveted “Best in Parade” ($1,000) and “Community Choice” ($750) awards, to payouts for “Most Ingenious Idea” ($250) and “Most Likely to Capsize” ($100).
“When we go by the judge’s stand, we’re going to have an epic champagne celebration in front of the trophy,” said Poston, who will be joined by about 15 friends and die-hard Nationals fans during the parade. “There will of course be baby sharks, there will be lightsabers and anything else you can imagine Nats-related. Shirtless Brian Dozier will be represented for sure. We’re working on that.”
Saturday’s event is free and open to the public, with live music and activities, including cookie and ornament decorating, going on throughout the Wharf from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Boats will arrive in the Washington Channel around 7 p.m., and a fireworks display is scheduled for 8 p.m.
After the parade, Poston said the replica trophy will be displayed in a communal area of Gangplank Marina known as the party barge. How fitting.
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