Lake St. John celebrates Flotilla July 7

Published 9:01 am Friday, June 15, 2007

When the 15th Annual Lake St. John Flotilla sails on Saturday, July 7, the boaters will be continuing an age-old Mississippi Gulf Coast and South Louisiana tradition. Priests from both sides of the Mississippi River stress that the “blessing of the flotilla is a festive occasion, but also a serious, religious one.” The priests bless all the vessels with holy water to ensure safe sailing.

Lake St. John has always been a very special place for residents of the Miss-Lou, where they learned to swim and ski, dance, play cards, sleep away lazy afternoons in a hammack and perhaps receive their first kiss. Lake St. John is a paradise, recently discovered by residents of other states as a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of cities like Houston and Dallas. Several people have chosen the lake as a retirement haven and have been welcomed by old-time residents as family. Lake St. John is an old-fashioned community where neighbors help each other, worship God on Sundays and love their country and support our troops fighting to ensure that we continue to enjoy freedom and our beautiful lake.

Monies generated from the annual flotilla support local charities, erect signs welcoming visitors to the lake, maintain flag poles flying our national and state flags, and beautify the entrance to the lake and the veterans monument honoring United States’ veterans.

Email newsletter signup

The flotilla committee encourages, pleads and begs the residents of the Miss-Lou to decorate Jet Skis, bass boats, anything that can maintain parade speed. Without the participation of the residents of the Miss-Lou, there will be no flotilla. The flotilla parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 7.

Prizes will be awarded in two categories, patriotic and non-patriotic. Pier judging will begin at 11 a.m. on July 7. King and queen of the 2007 flotilla are long-time residents and community benefactors, Richard Alwood and Donna Maroon. Grand marshall is Lousiana Rep. Andy Anders, who represents Concordia, East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes.

Royalty will be presented and crowned at the queen’s ball, at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 6 at The Dock. Live Music will follow. All residents and visitors are invited.

Public viewing of the flotilla festivities will be at Spokane Marina, the Dock, and Lake St. John Grocery. Mark your calendars, plan your decorations, keep those red white and blue flags flying and keep the fleet afloat on July 7. For further information, contact Donna Maroon at 318-481-0182.

Gay Guercio is a Lake St. John resident.