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Creativity abounds at first annual Boat Parade

Emma Bliss, of Nevis, and Keane Danks, of Brainerd, above right, float on their Huck Finn-inspired boat, while Tammy Gilster and Rae Beastrom, of Nimrod, float on their banana boat while dressed as gorillas. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

The first annual Boat Parade in Nimrod drew a large crowd to cheer on contestants riding in their homemade floats Sunday morning.

Nimrod Boosters organized the event as part of Jubilee Days. Participants floated along the Crow Wing River near Stigmans Mound park.

The parade was open to all contestants who designed and built their unique crafts.

“Boats must be homemade and must float,” LynnRay Pickar, co-chair of the event said.

Prizes were awarded on the basis of creativity in design and construction.

Boat materials could be made of wood, plastic, fiberglass, metal, duct tape and PVC or others – or any combination of these.

The first annual event had three entries with varying themes.

Emma Bliss, of Nevis, and Keane Danks, of Brainerd, created a raft that had a Huck Finn theme.

Tammy Gilster and Rae Beastrom, both of Nimrod, wore gorilla costumes and floated on a banana, for a “Banana Boat” theme.

Heather Gilreath and LynnRay Pickar were Lego-inspired firefighters riding in a floating fire truck. They even had a fire hose of sorts and sprayed water at those watching along the shore of the Crow Wing.

The boats all floated and remained intact.

All the participants had a blast and many in the crowd expressed interest in entering the contest next year.

Nimrod royalty and the royalty staff judged the contest. Their criteria were creativity of design, creativity of materials, conformance with rules, and completion of the parade, which was the drop line from the north side of the bridge.

First prize went to Gilreath and Pickar with the Lego boat, second prize went to Gilster and Beastrom with the Banana Boat and Bliss and Danks took third place with their Huck Finn-inspired boat.

The prizes were $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third.

The event will return in 2014 over Labor Day so those interested in participating next year can start planning their crafts early.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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