Parish lakes host two Fourth of July celebrations this Saturday

Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2021

NATCHEZ — While many are accustomed to celebrating Fourth of July with barbecues and fireworks, the people of Lake St. John and Lake Concordia celebrate Independence Day on the water.

To double the fun, two Fourth of July celebrations are slated to take place on the parish lakes this Saturday.

The Lake St. John Flotilla will celebrate its 29th year when the annual event begins 2 p.m. Saturday, July 3, while the seventh annual Lake Concordia Liberty Loop will begin at 1 p.m.

The lineup for the Liberty Loop begins on the north end of Lake Concordia.

The  lineup for the Lake St. John Flotilla begins at Lake St. John Grocery on the north end of Lake St. John.

Fireworks will be set off from the Newt Willis pier on Lake St. John and the Stubbs’ pier on Lake Concordia beginning at dusk.

There will also be some fun for watercraft owners who participate in the Flotilla as well with a chance to win cash prizes.

Those wishing to have their boat decorations judged for cash prizes must register and pay a $15 entry fee. Registration takes place from 10 a.m. until noon at Spokane Resort.

Any watercraft that can float and maintain cruise speed can participate.

The prizes are $2,500 four first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,500 for third place and $1,000 for fourth place. Judging will take place at the Steckler pier just past Spokane Resort.

Participants will also be able to enter a drawing for a chance to win $300 at each of four piers.

The Lake St. John Flotilla will be led by grand marshals Kippy Blaney and the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office. The Lake St. John committee led by the late Donna Maroon began hosting the event in 1992.

This year’s Flotilla artwork was created by Silas Simmons Hicks II of Natchez. Hicks currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his daughter Mary Simmons Hicks.

“It was such an honor to be chosen to design this year’s flotilla artwork,” Simmons said. “I learned to ski, knee board and have so many wonderful memories of summers on the lake. I really hope after a really hard year for everyone we can all come together to have an amazing weekend.”

He said he dedicated this year’s flotilla, artwork and festivities in memory of Maroon, “whose passion and love for the lake and its residences was unmatched.”

He said Flotilla committee members Kari Blaney and Susan Harris “are committed to carrying the torch in honor of Maroon to ensure this year’s Flotilla is the biggest and best yet.”

Shirts, hats, visors, koozies and the official 2021 Flotilla poster will be available for both spectators and participants to purchase at Spokane Resort.