It all begins tomorrow Saturday with the 42nd annual Antique and Classic Boat Show followed by the Purple Martinfest. (See last week’s "Outtakes" column for details on tomorrow’s show.) It continues the next weekend with the annual Portage Lakes July Fourth Boat Parade, sand castle building contest and gala fireworks extravaganza; the rockets launched from the tip of Mason’s Point high into the sky over Turkeyfoot Lake.
With the ten boat minimum already reached, the 42nd boat parade commences at 1 p.m. from Kieffer Marine on Portage Lakes Drive. The parade cruises the same route as in past years, ending at the State Park Beach in Turkeyfoot Lake.
All who register and participate in the parade are eligible to win $700 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third. A trophy will also be awarded for the Best of Parade. Two 2017 July Fourth t-shirts will be given to registered boats. Registered boat paraders will also receive a free picnic lunch when the winners are announced at the end of the parade in State Park Beach.
Let me remind you once again that registration for private individuals is free. However, any boat entering with political or business advertising displayed, is required to pay a registration fee of $100. The deadline for registering is at the close of the business today.
Organizers remind all boat captains entering the parade not to be like Gilligan. Make sure your gas tank is filled before starting the parade.
Boaters are also reminded to display their banners and numbers on both sides of their vessels so the judges can easily identify them. The judges’ stands will be at undisclosed locations throughout the parade. You must have your vessel in the water and at Kieffer Marine by 12:45 p.m. in order to participate.
The sand castle building contest will be held at that same State Park Beach. The contest goes from 2-4 p.m. Prizes are $200 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third.
After the boat parade and sand castle contest, you’ll have plenty of time to picnic with relatives and friends, or just relax until the 33rd anuual fireworks extravaganza has you oohing and aahing, sighing and applauding and just thrilled at the sights once again. It all starts on the nose at 10 p.m. from Mason’s Point across from Turkeyfoot Island in Turkeyfoot Lake.
Fill your boat with family and friends and cruise past the soft glowing, shore lined luminaries. They’ve become quite plentiful each year and seem to be making a comeback as they cast a warm soft radiance along the shores.
Find a spot in Turkeyfoot Lake, drop anchor and relax. Trust me, there’s nothing better that to watch a one-half hour pyrotechnic show from a boat in the Portage Lakes. I know. I’ve done it many times over the years.
Bring your radio and tune into 91.3 FM, The Summit, during the fireworks show as, once again, this firework extravaganza will be simulcast to the best music in the land.
Once again as in past years also, the show will take in a half hour with a mini finale and a full final that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Each year, Dano Mundy and his ‘Gang of 21’ outdo themselves and if past shows are any indication, rest assured they’ll be doing it again this year. For your own sake, don’t miss it.
While there is no boat parade rain date, there is one for the fireworks. That’s the next day, Sunday, July 2, same place, same time.
Remember that the waters of the Portage Lakes are considered part of the State Park system and, as such, alcohol is prohibited from being consumed, or even on watercraft while in the water. And if you have been imbibing, do not operate your vessel. Being pulled over and failing a sobriety test will ruin the holiday for you and your family.
One last reminder. It takes money to put on a show such as they do each year. If you’d like to contribute, write a check to the Portage Lakes fireworks Association and send it to: PLFA; PO Box 26923; Akron Ohio 44319.