Boat parade to set sail Sunday
A day or two before the annual Holiday Boat-A-Long, founder and organizer Edwina Hahn would be busy putting the final touches on the event; working the phones, organizing the boaters, making sure the route was well communicated, Hahn was involved in every aspect of the long-standing Cape tradition, making certain things went off without a hitch.
Hahn died in May of this year, but had passed on the day-to-day operations, so to speak, to Dave Drake, who has brought the parade into the next generation. He’s been charge of the parade for the last six years.
“Things are coming together great,” Drake said Friday. “I’m just amazed at the number of first timers. It’s exciting. Once they’re in the parade, they’re hooked for life.”
Drake normally captains his father’s boat, “The Tinker Toy”, as the lead boat in the parade, but the boat has been faced with some mechanical difficulties.
This year Drake will be aboard “Thor’s Hammer, piloted by Captain Tom Buckard.
“I’d sure like to be on my dad’s boat for the parade,” Drake said. “But, because it sat for so long the engine froze up. Hopefully it can be repaired and be the lead boat again next year.”
Hahn’s daughter Edwina, or “Teddy” to her familiars, has ridden in the parade with her mother countless times, back when Hahn’s boat the “Tinker Toy” was the parade’s lead boat.
The days leading up to the parade were some of the most hectic for Hahn.
“She would busy on the phone, trying to get as many people into the parade as possible,” Reid said. “She’d be really excited, doing last-minute decorations on her boat.”
According to Reid, the parade was the big holiday event for Hahn, who began to plan the next parade soon after the current one ended.
Reid and her husband Bob don’t plan on riding in this year’s parade, instead choosing to stay land locked and watch the parade from the shores of a boat parade party, thrown by one of Hahn’s oldest and dearest friends, Penny Ogrinz.
“We did that for so many years we’re just as happy to stay on land and watch it from there with no responsibilities,” Reid said.
Last-minute boat entries are accepted, and encouraged by Drake, who will be accepting boats as late as Saturday night.
“People can e-mail me as late as tomorrow night if they want to be in the parade,” Drake said.
The Cape Coral Holiday Boat-A-Long begins promptly at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Bimini Basin at Four Freedoms Park, though the festivities — including live entertainment, food, and Santa Claus –start at 4 p.m.
For more information contact Dave Drake at 239-772-9578, or email CCboatparade@aol.com.