Lake St. John Flotilla celebrates 25 years

Published 11:44 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017


FERRIDAY — This Saturday will mark a quarter-century of Miss-Lou residents celebrating the Fourth of July by parading on the waters of Lake St. John.

The annual Lake St. John Flotilla hosts a bevy of boats both small and large. The parade is a decorative affair, as participants adorn their boats with a multitude of themes. Last year’s overall winner paid tribute to the late pop singer Prince.

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The event “is open to anything that floats,” so long as the participant craft can maintain parade speeds. The parade kicks off at 2 p.m., and the boats will begin at the north end of the lake.

This year’s grand marshal, Gena Garrity, is a Natchez native born and raised in the city. Garrity is also manager of the Spokane Fishing Resort in Ferriday.

Garrity said the flotilla, first and foremost, is meant to provide a family-oriented environment.

“It’s just where family and friends get together and enjoy the freedom of our country — what July 4 is all about,” Garrity said.

“It’s just a big deal to the community every year … I’m very honored to be the grand marshal this year.”

Garrity said she has been invested in the lake for years, but even more so since November 2016, when she purchased a house on the lake. Garrity said she wants to promote the lake and maintain it as a clean and safe place for locals to enjoy.

Garrity said plenty of prizes would be handed out Saturday to both boat owners and attendants. Following the parade, judges will award first- and second-place prizes to both large craft and small craft in the patriotic and non-patriotic categories. Prizes will include gift certificates, T-shirts, cash prizes and more. An overall winner will also be chosen and awarded with a large life ring.

Additionally, KFNV 107.1 The Bridge will air the entire event live and draw for prizes throughout the evening.

Following the flotilla, the celebration on the lake will conclude with a fireworks show, which can be viewed from the lake’s piers or from a boat. Garrity, who helped organize the show, said the fireworks are scheduled to begin soon after dusk.