CRC Boat Parade to set sail July 6

The crew of the Secret Money Tree Boat waves to watchers as they circle the middle pond of the Congamond Lakes during the annual boat parade, sponsored by Citizens Restoring Congamond. This year’s parade is July 6. (Photo by Carl E. Hartdegen)

SOUTHWICK – Gather your red, white and blue and deck your boat – or just yourself – for the annual Citizens Restoring Congamond Boat Parade July 6.

The event takes place on Middle Pond at 5 p.m.

Anyone interested in participating should bring their boat to Babb’s Beach beginning at 4 p.m. A short patriotic program will kick-off the parade at 5 p.m.

Jerry Crane of the CRC said boats should be decorated in a patriotic theme,  but requests that there be no balloons because they are detrimental to fish and ponds. 

A small fireworks display will be seen from all three ponds of the Congamond Lake and the CRC hopes everyone will “Light up the Lake” with tiki torches and other lights. A drone will take photos, which will be available later for purchase to benefit CRC.

A boat owned by Russell firefighter Nate Kowalczyk in the CRC Boat Parade. (WNG FILE PHOTO)

The CRC Boat Parade is a 40-year tradition.

“CRC started the boat parade in the mid 70’s as a torchlight parade at dusk using real tiki torches,” said Crane. “Fire and boat gas tanks didn’t make sense, so it was moved up to late afternoon using decorations instead.”

Typically, 20-30 boats participate.

“We ask that the boats complete the entire route around the pond so everyone observing at the town pier at the north boat ramp, Saunders Boat Livery at the south end, and all the folks having lakeside parties can see the boats,” said Crane.

Crane said the best viewing spot from land is Babb’s Beach (433 Babb’s Road, West Suffield) before the parade as the boats gather. There will be music and a short patriotic program to kick-off the event.



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