By Lauren Quirici
Crowds gathered at Sears Park on the sunny afternoon of Saturday, August 9th to watch the participating boats at the tenth annual Captain Grizzy’s Showboat Parade. Twelve boats decorated in styles from Dr. Seuss to popular reality television show Duck Dynasty circled the lake for all to see.
Many vendors were present at Sears Park, including an Avon representative, face-painting booths, food products from Tastefully Simple, health products from Qivana and more. From the park, the boats and the observers made their way to Angelico’s Lake House Restaurant for food, drinks, music, and the announcement of the winners of the Boat Parade and ten thousand dollar raffle. Four Barrel Billy, a musical outfit native to New Haven, Connecticut, provided music for the gathering both at Sears Park and Angelico’s Lake House.
The parade is an annual event organized by the Friends of Lake Pocotopaug, a volunteer group in town that raises funds to keep the lake and surrounding area clean. “This volunteer group, which has no more than 25 volunteers, has spent almost $150,000, and it has all gone into that 511 acre natural lake for your enjoyment,” informed announcer Red McKinney about the Friends of Lake Pocotopaug. “This is much more than the Town of East Hampton has spent in the last ten years, and it’s all volunteer work. Raffles, auctions, baking, every dime they take in goes right into that lake.”
See HTNP’s photos here: Showboat Parade 2014
The third place award went to boat number 17, decorated in the theme of Dr. Seuss. The boat’s crew was complete with Thing 1 through 5, the Lorax, a Who or two, and even the Cat in the Hat. Gary Greenwald and Pam Joslyn-Greenwald and crew accepted the award of one hundred dollars.
Second place was awarded to The Moose Caboose, boat number 4. The Caboose resembled a big yellow school bus, and was filled with crew members wearing moose hats. Joe and Gail Carbonneau and the “moose crew” received an award of two hundred and fifty dollars. “By the way,” Mckinney informed as the Moose Caboose members filed onto the stage, “all of those hats were purchased a week and a half ago in Alaska by Dave and Theresa [Schulman]. They went all the way up there just to buy twelve hats, can you imagine that?”
Captain Adam Eurbin and his camouflaged, faux-bearded crew took first place and five hundred dollars with The Quack Pack, a boat decorated in the theme of television’s Duck Dynasty. Friends of Lake Pocotopaug chairperson John Moore, whose own boat was decorated as Thomas the Tank Engine, presented the trophy to the winning group. “Ladies and gentlemen, isn’t that great? A nice young group like this taking first place, you know they’re gonna be back next year!” said Mckinney.
“I know the effort that goes into it and the passion that goes into it,” said Lisa Ghent, chairperson of the Boat Committee and head of parade organization about the parade participants. “It’s not about the money that they win. It’s just about giving back and having fun.”
“Today was a huge success,” said Ghent to the crowd as tickets were collected and placed in a tumbler for the drawing. “We had great weather, thank you all for coming. Thank you mostly to the boats that participated. There were twelve of you, and I hope next year is bigger and better.”
Ghent assisted the young Ava Archer in reaching into the tumbler to choose the raffle winners. Michelle Sawyer of East Hampton won the grand prize of ten thousand dollars. Laura Blicharz, also of East Hampton, won the two thousand dollar raffle prize, and Darren Hearne won the third prize of one thousand dollars.
Visit the Friends of Lake Pocotopaug website for information on how to register for next year’s event.