Boat parade a favorite July 4 tradition

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Thu., Jul. 7, 2011
The Despard family and their friends embrace this year's 'redneck' theme during the Annual Boat Parade. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
The Despard family and their friends embrace this year's 'redneck' theme during the Annual Boat Parade. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

The Fourth of July weekend in Suffield once again featured one of the most fun and creative activities in the region, the Annual Boat Parade on the Congamond Lakes.

The yearly event attracts boaters from several of the properties along the lake and many visitors from all over the area who use the lake.

The theme of the parade this year was the “Redneck Yacht Club.” Citizens Restoring Congamond, a community service organization that helps support the lake, sponsored the event on July 2, and both turnout and participation was impressive again this year.

The CRC asked for participants in the parade to do their best "redneck" impersonation by decorating boats and participants in what typically might be described by the slang term “redneck” garb. Some of the boaters wore tank tops and cut-off shorts. Some boats featured fishing poles. One boat was covered on the outside by cardboard.

Another boat had fencing along the outside to resemble a redneck yard. Participants on the boat dressed in overalls without shorts and behaved like popular comedians Jeff Foxworthy, who made the term “redneck” famous, and Larry the Cable Guy.

Several boaters still decided to go with the traditional patriotic decorations.

CRC member Steve Schmid led the opening ceremonies, which included the national anthem and a gathering of the boats at Babb's Beach before they set off on their way.

In addition to the boat parade, the CRC organized a second event for later in the evening known as “Light Up the Lake.”

The activity is exclusive to residents of the lakeside who are being asked to place lights along their lakefront property. Many also participated in that event.

In related CRC news, the group will be holding its first Sunday concert at Babb’s rink, with proceeds from the event going to the Babb’s roller skating rink project. The event is Sunday, July 10, and bands are yet to be announced.


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