Record Crowds for 2014 Boat Parade

Celebrating Our Freedom
The 9th Annual Lake Interlochen Independence Day Boat Parade was enjoyed by a record crowd of spectators as residents and guests gathered in backyards to cheer on the boats, kayaks, canoes and other odd vessels.

Parade co-director Ken Simoneaux led the way, towing a skiing Uncle Sam.

The judges used three criteria to determine first, second, and third place:

Spirit, Creativity, and Festivity.

First Place went to the Clement family. Their boat featured Uncle Sam and dual cannons that were fired during the parade. Aboard the boat were kids Maggie and Anna.

Second Place went to the Seipel family. Aboard the boat were Queen Elizabeth impersonator Eileen Watkins and her aid, Jan Penland. The Queen commented, “We come to celebrate the fight for freedom together. While the history of 1776 is not forgotten, it is forgiven. Keep calm and carry on!”

Third Place went to the Whitley family. Driving the boat was Tom Kerkaert. Five-year-old Tompson sported an outrageous Mohawk. Also aboard was 2-year-old Felicity and Susan.

The parade route began in the middle channel, to the south channel, into the old channel and making a u-turn at the entrance of the west channel, then to the north channel and back to the finish line in the middle channel.

Parade co-director Mike Saliba, in his customary role as emcee of the event, welcomed the boats back and announced the winners.

The celebration continued well after the 7 p.m. parade ended, with homeowners and guests taking advantage of the hospitality graciously provided in the adjoining Varela-Saliba-Watkins backyards.

Click on this link to see a seven-minute video by Jim Owings. He mounted a camera on the bow of Roger Pendleton’s kayak, which captured the action from a new perspective, and edited in footage he took from the shore. The video will self start but you can choose viewing options. Look at the icons on the lower right of the screen. You can choose quality, theater format and full screen.

Here’s the first place winner, the Clements: