The most public votes at the 13th Annual Gardner Lake 4th of July Boat Parade went to the Gardner Lake Ghostbusters, who were awarded the first place trophy. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

WATCH VIDEO Perfect weather blessed the Gardner Lake 4th of July Boat Parade on Monday afternoon as first-time and veteran participants entertained lake residents and guests at the 4:00 event. The popular annual event is sponsored by the Gardner Lake Association and is now in it’s thirteenth year.
2016-parade-003-webThe venerable Barbie Girl, a vintage runabout that has been a beloved sight at the lake for years, lead the parade with owner Leigh Allen at the helm. Leigh was honored this year as Grand Marshall and recognized for her tradition of supporting Gardner Lake. Captain and crew were dressed in platinum wigs and sequined halter tops in a law-enforcement theme to fit the title.
The parade committee boat lead the procession behind the Grand Marshal. The Jamaican-style steel drum music of accomplished-performer Lazzell Williams set the mood for the sunny event. Captain Dave Young was at the helm with lake association board members Larry Desmarteau and Amy Heaven on board. Alethea Williams helped tally the votes which numbered near 250. Spectators voted by texting the number of their favorite entry to a cell phone aboard the committee boat.
John and Brenda Ahrens and family captured the first place prize again this year with their “Ghost Busters” theme pontoon boat. Voting was very close with the Mike and Barb Young family taking the second place award. Their version of “Gilligan’s Island” featured a two-story S.S. Minnow. In a close 3rd place, Diane Feuerborn’s boat full of grapes dancing to “Heard It Through the Grape Vine” was recognized. Lake newcomers Chris and Tracy Kerth and family captured the hearts of the committee with their “Sweet Lake Livin’” candy barge and received the coveted ‘Committee’s Choice’ recognition.
The prizes this year were vintage trophies from the era of the construction of the lake in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s as a WPA project.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event which is certain to maintain the popular tradition on Independence Day. In the meantime, a second-annual Rico’s Labor Day kayak run is slated to take place at 10:00 am on September 5th to round out the lake’s summer calendar.