WINONA LAKE — A long line of boats slowly made its way around Winona Lake this evening, Sunday, July 3, for the annual Winona Lake Boat Parade.
This year’s theme was, “Indiana History,” in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial. The boats staged at the Winona Lake Park, then slowly made their way around the lake, where viewers gathered to watch and cheer as they went by. Some brought lawn chairs while others stood along the shore to watch.
Judges were appointed to choose the top three best-decorated boats. The results of this year’s boat parade judging will be posted as they become available.
The annual boat parade is a salute to Winona Lake’s past Venetian Nights festival, which took place every year along the canal. Like its modern-day counterpart, the event featured colorfully decorated boats, which were judged by theme.
The original Venetian Nights festival ended almost tragically 99 years ago, in 1917, when one of the participating boats capsized, presumably because the display was top-heavy.