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Pro-Trump boat parade draws hundreds of supporters to Monroe Lake



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A boat with flags displaying support for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign and the confederate flag drives Saturday for a boat parade on Monroe Lake. The parade was one of hundreds across the country over the weekend. Ethan Levy

A line of hundreds of boats draped with Trump 2020 flags paraded at Monroe Lake on Saturday afternoon in support of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

Multiple boat parades took place across the country yesterday backing the president. Large groups gathered along Jersey Shore, Lake Travis in Texas and several other locations.

Most boats participating in the paradeat Monroe Lake featured multiple flags. The majority of them were American flags and Trump 2020 campaign flags, with many reading “Keeping America Great” and “No more bullshit.” Several Blue Lives Matter flags and Confederate flags were also at the event.

More than 400 people reported they would be in attendance and over 1,000 said they were interested in going, according to the parade’s Facebook page. Hundreds of people turned out at the lake before the start of the parade, but few wore masks.

The event began at 11 a.m. with the group assembling near the Monroe Lake Dam. Many families and small groups gathered together, but most did not exceed 20 people. Several party boats were at the lake with larger crowds but did not participate in the parade.

The parade began just before noon with the line traveling toward the Cutright State Recreation Area. After, the fleet regrouped at Allen’s Creek to tie the boats down. Many people played music while they stayed near the creek, some for more than an hour.

Doug Garvin was visiting the lake Saturday with his son and daughter-in-law for a fishing trip. The Bloomington native said he was pleased with the patriotic nature of the event.

“I saw so many American flags along with the Trump flags,” Garvin said. “To me, it was almost refreshing. There was no animosity.” 

Hundreds of boats meet Saturday for a parade in support of President Donald Trump on Lake Monroe. The parade was one of hundreds across the country over the weekend. Ethan Levy

The large number of boats created waves that made sailing difficult, but Garvin said it was a peaceful gathering overall. Conservation officers were present on the lake throughout the parade.

Adam Delk, assistant boat rental manager at Paradise Boat Rentals, said he is used to the rush in business over Labor Day weekend, but this weekend offered unique obstacles amid rising COVID-19 cases in Monroe County. 

While very few people wore face masks in the parade, Paradise Boat Rentals asks their customers to wear masks and social distance in the store.

Paradise Boat Rentals provides a pump for boat-owners to fill up on gas along the shore of the lake. Delk and his employees interacted with many parade attendees throughout the day but said they were not overwhelmed by some additional traffic. However, he said he found the parade to be a disturbance.

“It kind of got in the way of normal operations,” Delk said. “It made the lake a lot rougher. It just made it harder in general to boat if you were just trying to get out there and have fun.”

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