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‘A Thank You’

Antique Boat Parade Planned For July 11 In Bemus Point

Members of the Chautauqua Lake Twin Tier Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society will host their first boat parade on July 11, beginning at the Lawson Center in Bemus Point. P-J photo by Jay Young

The Chautauqua Lake Twin Tier Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society will be hosting a parade on July 11 at 10:30 a.m., beginning in front of the Lawson Center museum in Bemus Point.

In a normal year without COVID-19 restrictions, the chapter would host a boat show open to the public on the docks of the Village Casino. That plan has been changed to a boat parade, which will include members of the Bemus Point Volunteer Fire Department and the Dewitville Fire Department.

“We’re doing that because of the pandemic, we didn’t think it was a good idea to have tons of people on a dock,” Chapter President Doug Cornelius said. “It is kind of a thank you to the first responders, we’re doing it as a tribute to them. I’ve got the Dewitville Fire Department boat in the parade and also the Bemus Point boat is going to be in the parade too. We’re going to line up in front of the Lawson Center, the antique boat museum, and the (Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department boat) is going to lead us. We’re going to go up through the northern basin taking the east side of the lake, come all the way down the west side and have a boxed lunch at the Lawson Center.”

Cornelius has invitations out to antique boat club chapters in the Buffalo and Pittsburgh areas, and expects to have a minimum of 25 boats in the parade. Normally, the boat show would include around 40-45 boats in attendance during the second Saturday of July.

The event will also include a donation to first responders, and a rain day is planned for Sunday, July 12.

“If we get high winds or nasty weather, rain, I don’t like to take my boat out in the rain, that doesn’t work,” Cornelius said. “This is the first time we are doing a parade, we wanted to do something to stay safe, so we thought this would be a great idea. Spectators can still see us on the shoreline.”

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