Richard Rich is the skipper of the fire truck. Huh? You know, the fire truck that moves along the Willamette every December, sirens blaring?
It’s really an aging 24-foot Tollycraft magically transformed into a sound and light show. And its just one of nearly 60 Christmas Ships.
Interviewed by the Oregonian, Rich has this to say: What makes the Christmas Ships special, is that it’s not commercial. People complain so much about how commercial Christmas has become. We’ve had offers to sponsor us. But we don’t want it. We like that it’s not commercial. And that it’s free.
Yes! These skippers are our there just to bring light, color and joy to Portlanders. Rick implies it’s a little addictive but it’s kept this tradition of 54 years going strong.
Tonight Old Town Chinatowners will be there cheering on the Christmas Ships at the McCormick Pier fire pit just north of the Steel Bridge. Look for brown bag lanterns and a bunch of people standing around a hot fire, drinking hot cider, eating hot bowls of chili. Warm company on a cold, clear, beautiful night.