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Boat parade seeks boats

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With less than a week away until the start of the 53rd Annual Seaway Festival, organizers are still seeking entrants for its first-ever River Rat Illuminated Boat Parade.

The parade will be held Saturday night as part of a kick off for the Seaway Festival.

So far, 11 participants have signed up, but organizers are hoping for many more.

“There might be a few people interested but are a bit apprehensive,” organizer Laurel Lee Roethel said. “We welcome anyone to contact us who have questions or concerns. We want it to be a big, fun event, so we can bring it back next year.”

Registration is $20. The fee includes a River Rat T-shirt. Each participant will also be automatically entered to win an embroidered jacket with their boat’s name on it.

Participants are encouraged to decorate their boats in the theme of their choice.

“We have themes ranging from the Dallas Cowboys to Christmas in July,” Ms. Roethel said. “It can be anything you want it to be.”

The event is the first of its kind, Ms. Roethel said.

“We have many events taking place along the river — from duck races, fishing derbies and a canoe race — but we wanted to do something different, something that would bring people, especially families, to the Greenbelt,” Ms. Roethel said.

The event was inspired by the Light Up the Night Parade held annually in November.

“There’s nothing like lights illuminated on the river at night,” Ms. Roethel said. “It’s indescribable. It’s always amazing to see the lights reflecting off of the river.”

The parade of boats will begin at 9:30 p.m. from the Paterson Street Boat Launch and circle back at the Ogdensburg Lighthouse.

There will also be bands in the park, and an announcer will name each boat.

The parade will be visible from the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority access road, the city’s Greenbelt and Morissette Park, Ms. Roethel said.

To pick up an application to participate in the parade, visit Roethel’s, 1801 Ford St., Hosmer’s Marina, 54 E. River St., or the city’s Recreation Department in the Dobisky Visitors Center, 100 Riverside Ave.

For more information, call Ms. Roethel at 393-4770.

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