Join us for annual Lake St. John Flotilla July 1

Published 12:02 am Thursday, June 22, 2017

The 25th annual Lake St. John Flotilla, “Mardi Gras on the Lake,” sails at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 1.

The Lake St. John Flotilla and Blessing of the Boats has become a Miss-Lou tradition, a time to celebrate family, freedom, and a time to thank God for this great land and our beautiful piece of God’s country — Lake St. John.

The Rev. John Pardue will bestow the blessing from the Steckler Pier. The flotilla committee encourages all boat owners to receive a blessing. The boat does not have to be decorated to receive a blessing.

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Prizes will be awarded in three categories. Overall 2017 flotilla winner will receive a large life ring. There is no theme.

First and second place prizes will be awarded in the patriotic and non-patriotic categories for large craft and small craft boats. Prizes include, posters, cash prizes, lake prizes, gift certificates and T-shirts.

Boats are encouraged to sail completely around the lake — therefore cash prizes will be awarded to boats that pass by piers, A, B, C and D.

All participants with decorated boats must register at Spokane Resort from 9 a.m. to noon on July 1. Entry fee is $10 and participants will receive an event number.

The parade will be led by Concordia Parish Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick and followed by 2017 Grand Marshal Gena Garrity.  The boats will start at the north end of the lake at 2 p.m. Parade is open to anything that floats and can maintain parade speed.

KFNV 107.1 The Bridge will broadcast the event live, will announce all winners, draw for prizes all day and play music for the fireworks.

Magnificent fireworks will light the sky at dusk from Newt Willis’ pier on the backside of the Lake. Flotilla T-shirts, tanks and posters, designed by Christie Porter, and Brad New of Rhino Graphics, are available at Spokane Resort, Lake St. John Grocery, and Rami’s Beauty Shop on U.S. 84 in Ferriday.

The 2017 Flotilla Grand Marshal, Gena Garrity, born and raised in Natchez has enjoyed the recreation of Lake St. John all her life. Loving the Lake, Gena was delighted to accept a job as manager of Spokane Resort when James Bradford purchased the resort in 2012.

At first it was difficult working seven days a week and drive from Natchez every day, so Gena was ecstatic to purchase a home on the lake in November 2016. When Jimmy and Teresa Newsome purchased Spokane Resort in March, they insisted Gena remain as manager. The Newsomes will be in residence during the flotilla and look forward to meeting all their new friends on the lake.

Gena is very involved in the community and Lake St. John. She has served on the flotilla committee, is a member of Rotary and Concordia PAWS and is secretary of the Krewe of St. John.

Gena’s vision for the Lake is to continue to maintain the cleanliness and safety of Lake St. John and to remain the “first smiling face and cheerful voice that visitors and residents see on beautiful Lake St. John.”

For more information about the Lake St. John Flotilla, contact Donna Maroon at 318-481-0182, or by e-mail at
Gay Guercio is a long-time resident of Lake St. John and a member of the Flotilla Committee.