CANAAN—The Queechy Lake Club, led by its president, Caitlin Schwaeger, saw its 44th annual Boat Parade circle the lake Sunday, July 4.
The local boat parade got its start in 1977, a year after the national Bicentennial in 1976,. Tall Ships came to Manhattan and the Hudson River for the Bicentennial, but the hassle of the drive to New York City, finding parking and navigating huge crowds was daunting. So a group of friends at the Queechy Lake discussed options.
The group consisted of Jim Durgin, Joey O’Hara, Eddie Dignam, John Crellen, and the late Barry Moore. Their “Ah, hah!” moment was the thought of having their own vessels on parade. Thus was born the Annual Queechy Lake Boat Parade to celebrate the town’s Declaration of Independence.
“Holy cow! What a fabulous parade. It fills my heart with joy to see our small community here at Queechy Lake dive into this comical, iconic, fun tradition with such creativity and enthusiasm, year after year,” Ms. Schwaeger said.
Judges this year were John Kirkpatrick,Wendy Chivian, and her niece, Ella. While there are only 10 official awards, every single participant is a winner. The 2021 Queechy Lake Boat Parade winners are: Best Overall, Queechy Clean, Dwyer/Soutar; Most Original, Floaters Insurance Hall of Claims, Zinsser; Best Costumes, 50’s Sock Hop, Skerkis/Hausman; Most Outrageous, Redneck Yacht Club, Kolonics; Most Humorous, Jurassic Lake, Long; Muscle Builder, QFO-Aliens Invade Queechy, Kousch/Legere; Most Historical, Summer of Love, LaValle; Young at Heart, Mardi Gras, Warn; Most Imaginative, Queechy Candy Shoppe, Deschamps-DeMarco; Best Children’s, LegoLand, Rustin/Reznick.
Runner Up/Honorable Mentions included: Times Square, Rooney; Sun Moon Earth, Donges; Historic Queechy, Hickok; and Taco Bouta Long Year, Knight/Cardillo.