Fourth of July Boat Parade at Lake Lanier

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2022

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The fourth of July on Lake Lanier started with a few people in boats, on paddle boards, and swimming. Many were probably recouping from the fireworks activity on the lake on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights!

As 2 p.m. approached, boats festooned with red, white, and blue, made their appearance gradually to the first basin to obtain their numbered paddles from Captain Grant Burns and his First Mate Carol Whaley, who handed them out from the Joyce family’s equally festooned dock. The leading boat, captained by FK McFarland, started the parade by passing in front of the neighboring dock owned by the Grant family, who were the appointed judges of this festive event on Lake Lanier! There were 18 boats of various types, evidencing the artistic efforts of their family owners, celebrating the 246th birthday of our country.

The parade progressed toward the second and third basins of the lake, passing by the crowds of people on their docks who were shouting and clapping enthusiastically. Several of the boat passengers reported that they passed crowds of people, with some of the docks decorated for the holiday! The parade ended back in the first basin, with paddles being returned and a final review from the judges’ viewing dock.

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The winners of this year’s parade were the Steve Kilpatrick family in first place; the FK McFarland family in second place; the Caroline Leonard family in third place, and the Jeff Justice family in fourth place. Honorable Mention went to the Ed Parris Family.

Prizes are given to these winners and were provided this year by local restaurants: Iron Key Brewery, Hare and Hound, Side Street Pizza, and Southside Smokehouse & BBQ. 

Just as evening approached, natural fireworks were offered up with a thunderstorm and much-needed rain that cleared off near sunset. The day ended with spectacular displays of fireworks in all three basins for more than an hour.  

Submitted by Carol Foreman Whaley, Lake Lanier Civic Association