As in most cities and towns throughout the United States, Charlotte area residents will commemorate our country’s Independence Day with annual festivities. Such events form the bedrock of neighborhood friendships and salute in solidarity the sacrifices made for our freedom and those who’ve made them.
With parades, backyard barbeques and fireworks, we will congregate to celebrate our freedoms and share our heritage. In some communities, unique events will render another level of observance, providing special opportunities and experiences for participates and spectators.
In the waters of Lake Wylie, at the edge of the Charlotte metro area, one such event continues to draw enthusiastic crowds who assemble to watch and cheer year after year. The annual Tega Cay Boat Parade has been a mainstay event not only for the town but for the surrounding area. Residents and visitors gather on the shore, on decks, and at Windjammer Park to enjoy the decorated boats as they meander through the coves and water’s edge that frame Tega Cay – the “Beautiful Peninsula” – whose cityhood anniversary coincides with Independence Day (32nd this year).
What makes it so special is that there are few locations so well suited for such an event and that boaters from throughout the region – not just the town – participate by decorating their crafts in patriotic, distinctive or festive attire.
While simply being involved in the event is a one-of-a-kind experience, adding to the excitement is that resident armed forces veterans will judge the boats and award valuable prizes generously donated by local business sponsors.
This year, supporters will again include Casual Water Restaurant, West Marine and the Tega Cay Marina, a long-term donor. The grand prize and T-shirts (two of which go to each participating boat) will both be sponsored by Hall Marine and Lake Wylie Marina which sits next to T-Bones near the Buster Boyd Bridge.
We’d love to have you join us this year whether as spectator or participant – the more boats the merrier! Registration is free but required and can be done online by going to TegaCaySC.org and clicking on the “4th of July Celebration” and then “Boat Parade,” where you will also find more details about the parade, times and prizes. We hope to hear from you soon.
Tom Tremblay is a Tega Cay Boat Parade coordinator.