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Boaters participate in second-annual Lake Oconee parade

July 16, 2021 - 00:00
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  • Article Image Alt Text
    Harper (left) and Beckett (right) Thomas watch the parade of boats go by their dock on July 4th. Harper is dressed as Ms. America while Beckett is sporting his Captain America suit. CONTRIBUTED
  • Article Image Alt Text
    A pontoon boat features an American Bald Eagle a top its vessel on the Fourth of July.

Residents from around Lake Country participated in the second annual “Lake Oconee Boat Parade” on Sunday, July 4.

Morgan County residents Joe and Sandy Williamson started the parade a year ago during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year we held the event on the 4th of July and we had nearly 13 boats participating,” Joe Williamson said. “People decorated their boats and we paraded up the lake. People on the shore cheered us on and we had a good time.”

Williamson said that the number of boats doubled during the most recent parade.

“We got a lot of good feedback from people,” he added. “Next year is going to be even bigger.”

Williamson described the crowd as being “very patriotic”

There were several boats that went above and beyond with their decorations. One pontoon boat had a blowup American Bald Eagle on the top, while another had an inflatable Uncle Sam waving to crowds and patrons as it passed by. Crowe Marina also donated a YETI cooler and it was awarded to the best-decorated boat in the parade.

“We didn’t know what to expect this year,” Williamson said. “Last year, we didn’t know if anyone was going to show up because of the pandemic.”

The boat route was around the northern part of Lake Oconee near the Blue Springs Marina.

Williamson added that he expects next year to be even bigger since this year’s turnout was more than expected.

“It’s going to be fun moving forward and waiting to see what creativity people will come up with next year,” Williamson said.