Special to The Gardner News
Threats of returning rain showers did not dampen the spirits of participants and spectators alike for the annual Gardner Lake 4th of July Boat Parade on July 4.
A low number of floats was offset by the spectacular quality of each entry. Sponsored by the Gardner Lake Association and officiated by Larry DesMarteau, Amy Heaven and Lynn Hickman, this year’s event honored Grand Martials, Herb and Helen Klemp. Herb has been a lake resident for 79 years. Together, the Klemps have been strong supporters of the GLA and dependable volunteers through the many years.
Crystal trophies were presented in two categories: Best Theme Boats and Best Spirit Boats.
The parade sponsors also presented the Committee’s Choice award which was captured by “The Wizard of Oz” theme produced by Jim Dwyer and family. Third place in the Spirit Category was earned by the ‘Lake Ladies’ consisting of Shawnna Steele, Brenda Ahrens, Tracy Kerth, Carrie Lewis and Cindy Wainscott. Their float, “We’re Lovin’ It (Lake Living)” had a McDonalds restaurant theme.
“American Bandstand” was an elaborate rendition of Dick Clark’s iconic TV series presented by the Mike and Barbara Young family taking second place in the Spirit Category and presented stiff competition for the “Redneck Yacht Club” produced by the Brenda and John Ahrens family who cinched it for first with an enormous American flag.
Third place for the Theme Boats went to the always-popular “Rubber Duckie” by the Bill Pflumm clan. Last year’s winner, Miss Leigh Allen and family captured the second position this year with an “Aladdin” and the Dave Young and Todd Chappell family cinched first place among Theme Boats with “Game of MaHomes.”
This year the ratings were conducted by six secret judges posted along the parade route which was counter-clockwise around the lake beginning at 4 p.m. on that day. The event is always open to the public as both participants and spectators.
The Gardner Lake Association’s next event is the Labor Day Kayak Run on Sept. 2. This popular event kicks off at 10 a.m. on Labor Day morning near the marina and is also open to the public.