WINONA LAKE — The start of a long Fourth of July celebration kicked off Friday night, June 28, with the annual Winona Lake Flotilla.
Participants and observers enjoyed perfect conditions as eight decorated boats cruised around the lake in a counter-clockwise path.
Organizer and judge Connie Kaiser said participation was down from last year when 14 floating entries took the tour. With the town’s annual fireworks set for Saturday night, June 29, officials chose Friday night for the flotilla. Last year, the event was on a Sunday.
The parade might have been smaller than normal, but a festive approach embracing this year’s theme, “Celebrate Holidays,” helped pick up the tempo.
The top six entries were ranked by judges. The winners and themes were: First place, Irish Pub (Boat No. 7); Second place, Christmas in Hawaii (Boat No. 5); Third place, Chinese New Year (Boat No. 3); Fourth place, Christmas In June (Boat No. 1); Fifth place, Welcome Christmas (Boat No. 2); And sixth place, Fourth of July (Boat No. 6).
Judges included Carolyn Young, Rita Price-Simpson, Julie Boardman, Connie Kaiser and Laurie Renier. Deb Lange headed up registration and public relations.
Merchants from the Village of Winona provided prizes.