Lake St. John Flotilla brings community together on Saturday

Published 9:53 am Friday, July 5, 2024

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FERRIDAY, La. — The Lake St. John Flotilla, a 32-year tradition that falls on the weekend after Independence Day, will once again bring the community together for a parade of fun-decorated boats and fireworks this Saturday, July 6.

The flotilla starts at 2 p.m. at the north end of the lake with a blessing of the boats, said Lake St. John Flotilla committee member Deanna Kimbro. Fireworks begin at dusk and will be shot off from the Steckler Pier on the front side of the lake.

Boat registration, which is $15 per boat and is open to anything that floats and can maintain parade speeds, lasts from 10 a.m. until noon.

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Boats can be decorated with creative patriotic or pop culture themes for a chance to win cash prizes. The overall winner receives $1,000, second place $750 and third place is $500.

For a $15 entry fee, piers can also be decorated for cash prizes. Piers must be decorated by 1 p.m. for judging. The overall pier winner receives $500 and second place is $250.

The registration fees and proceeds support this and future events and the beautification and activities sponsored by the Lake St. John committee, Kimbro said.

Grand Marshals this year are the owners of Spokane Resort, Tim and Bridgette Montpelier, Brenda Carter, and Buddy Goodson who for many years have supported the Flotilla by allowing registration and spectators on their property and selling flotilla merchandise, Kimbro said.

“Everyone watches on their pier or at Spokane Resort,” she said. “If you’re coming and don’t have a place to go, go to Spokane.”

Those who have a boat that they want to enter in the Flotilla but need lake access, Spokane has a boat ramp they use for a small fee. For those who need to spend the night, Spokane can help with that, too, with cottages, cabins, and RV sites available.

Merchandise featuring the winning design for this year’s flotilla will be available to purchase the day off, Kimbro said. Mallory Wallace is the artist and winner of a $500 prize for her design.

“We’ll have them all at Spokane, T-shirts, hats, caps, visors, koozies, coasters and flags,” Kimbro said.

The winning design features an adorable frog on a lily pad with the beautiful lake and bald cypress in the background.

Speaking of lily pads, the Lilly Pad will also be open and provide refreshments during the flotilla.

“(The Flotilla) really brings the lake community together and everyone has so much fun with it,” Kimbro said. “Members of the committee really work hard to make this come together and do a fantastic job. I want to thank all of the volunteers who put this event on. It’s well-loved by everybody and it wouldn’t come together without them.”