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Previous Lake Independence Flotilla parade winners. (Submitted photo)

One tradition is staying put this Fourth of July. The annual Lake Independence July 4 Flotilla is taking place this year as many other events have canceled due to COVID-19.

The flotilla has been around for approximately 20 years and is hosted by the Lake Independence Citizens Association. According to board member Robin Reid, when the board was discussing the future of their events, they knew the flotilla is one event that can continue while also following COVID-19 guidelines.

“I said, ‘Why can’t we do this? We can probably do this because of the way it’s set up there is no contact,’” she said.

The annual flotilla is a boat parade on Lake Independence where people will decorate their boats, float around the lake and are then judged for prizes. All types of boats are welcome, but the boat with the best decorations will win a cash prize.

Boats are to assemble at 1 p.m. north of the Baker Park Boat Launch. Boaters will then sign in at the judges’ pontoon, get a number and line up for the parade. Anyone with a boat is allowed to participate.

Those located on Lake Independence are not the only ones who will get to enjoy the Fourth of July creativity of the boaters, and Reid said the best view for families to watch from is the Baker Park Reserve beach. The flotilla allows for people to remain socially distant on and off the water as well.

The Independence Citizens Association made the decision to cancel other activities this summer; however, they’re hoping the flotilla will attract more participants and spectators this year since it’s one of the only events taking place this Fourth of July.

“We have had very wonderful themes people have in the past. We’ve had pirate ships, we’ve had a Mount Rushmore that was really cute...and things like that,” Reid said.

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