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The Suburbanite
  • FRANK WEAVER, JR: Enjoy Portage Lakes summer festivities

  • IT ALL STARTS this weekend, folks, on June 29 with the 38th annual Antique and Classic Boat Show, and it ends next Saturday, July 6 with the 29th annual Portage Lakes Fireworks extravaganza.

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  • IT ALL STARTS this weekend, folks, on June 29 with the 38th annual Antique and Classic Boat Show, and it ends next Saturday, July 6 with the 29th annual Portage Lakes Fireworks extravaganza. In between there are cookout parties, two boat parades (the first one a nighttime, the second one a daytime), more cookout parties, a sand castle building contest, even more cookout parties, luminaries and still more cookout parties. So feel free to clip this column and use it as your agenda and then get ready, folks, for a week of celebrating the birth of a free nation…Portage Lakes style.
    Antique & Classic Boat Show
    Sponsored by the well-known and long-established "Portage Lakes Historical Society" (PLHS) along with the "North Coast Ohio Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society" (NCOCA&CBS), the 38th annual Antique and Classic Boat Show begins at 9 a.m. – rain or shine – at the docks of the "On Tap at the Harbor" (formerly the Olde Harbor Inn) and "Nicoletti's at Park Place" (formerly Hook, Line and Drinkers). For landlubbers, both waterfront locations are located just two blocks west of the Coventry Clock Tower and yards apart at 562 Portage Lakes Drive in Coventry Township. Admission is free and the Antique and Classic Boat Show continues until 3 p.m. For additional information, feel free to contact Bud Long at 216-409-6863.
     A collection of rare Chris Craft Customs, both antique and classic models, pre-World War II and post-war model boats will also be on display, with more of these beautifully designed, highly collectable boats side by side than ever before.   
     For this year's highlighted feature, the two sponsoring groups will be showcasing the old wooden antique and classic "Century" brand boats.
    Between gazing upon these beautifully man-made watercraft, feel free to sit at a waterside table and enjoy your favorite foods or beverages at either one of these venues.
    Show officials have indicated that each year the crowds increase. Last year saw thousands attend in order to view and enjoy more than 55 restored antique and classic boats, many of them in showroom shape. This year, organizers expect more boats and bigger crowds. There will be at least nine different classes in which recognition will be awarded for first-, second- and third-places, as well as a top award for "The People's Choice." Don't forget to vote for your favorite vessel under that specific category.
    Dinner & Awards Ceremonies
    A dinner and award presentations for Antique and Classic Boat Show participants will take place later in the evening at the Turkeyfoot Island Club. The fee to join others for the meal and ceremony is $25 per person. You'll need reservations. They can be made by emailing: Lucyhunter@neo.rr.com .
    "Light Up The Lakes" Regatta
    Page 2 of 2 - Later that evening, a different kind of boat parade will take place. It's the sixth annual "Light Up The Lakes" regatta … a nighttime boat parade with a myriad of Christmas lights used to decorate the boats. Grab an inside waterfront table at Dietz's Landing or sit outside at a table by the docks and enjoy your favorite foods or beverages. Another option is to pick a lawn spot across the channel at the "Upper Deck" and enjoy the regatta from there.
     Enjoy it anywhere on the shore along the parade route. For example: You could select a spot along the water at "Dusty's Yacht Club," "Howie's On The Lake," or the newly opened "Nicoletti's at Park Place" (formerly the Hook, Line & Drinkers). You could also watch it from the newly purchased "On Tap at the Harbor" (formerly the Olde Harbor Inn) or any spot in between. So kick back, munch on some goodies, sip on your favorite cold beverage and enjoy the show.
    The regatta will form in Rex Lake in front of the Rotary Club at 9:30 p.m. June 29. Following the Summit County Sheriff's boat lead, it will begin parading at 9:40 p.m. by entering Turkeyfoot Lakes at "Dusty's Landing," proceed around Mason's Point and head toward "Howie's On The Lake." From there, it will turn north through the speed lanes and into Turkeyfoot Channel. It will pass "Dietz's Landing" and the "Upper Deck," proceed through West Reservoir to "Nicoletti's at Park Place" and "On Tap at the Harbor" where it will turn and reverse itself back to the "Upper Deck" and "Dietz's Landing" area for judging results and refreshments.
    This is your chance to fire-up those Christmas lights and other lighted decorations, July 4th style and win some moola. That moola consists of three cash prizes awarded, with first place winning $1,000, second place $500 and third place $250. Judging spots will be along the route and prizes will be awarded at Dietz's. Register your decorated boat at www.PortageLakes.com .
    Organizers are reminding everyone that the Portage Lakes are part of the Ohio State Park system and are asking everyone to obey all ODNR and watercraft laws. That includes the prohibition of consuming alcoholic beverages while on board a watercraft and/or having an opened container of any alcoholic beverage on board.
    For any and all up to the minute data on the 38th annual Portage Lakes July Fourth celebration, feel free to visit the website at www.portagelakes.com .
    Next week: The rest of the July Fourth Agenda including the Daytime Boat parade and the fireworks display.
    Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com