Update: Put those fireworks away.
The Patchogue Riverfront Committee’s plans for a Fourth of July Boat Parade on Patchogue River, which we reported on Monday, have been called off.
The organizers cited the proximity to the holiday — now just about three months away — and the logistical challenges of coordinating with the Coast Guard and local authorities.
“Since Patchogue is ‘hot’ right now this event could draw real crowds of boats and turn an already-busy boating today” into an even busier one of the river,” said committee member John Sarno, a co-owner at Drift 82 in Patchogue.
“This is something we hope to put together for another year,” he said, acknowledging the possibility of having a patriotic boat parade but not on July 4.
“But we [the riverfront restaurants and other businesses] still plan to honor our troops and vets in our own way so that everyone enjoys the holiday,” Sarno said.
Original Post: It will be like Christmas in July on Patchogue River.
For the first time ever, a July 4 boat parade on the river that will be reminiscent of its hugely popular Christmas Holiday Boat Parade (see photo) that happens each year after Thanksgiving.
But instead of Christmas lights, Santas and snowmen, these boats will be making their way up the river festooned in red, white and blue. Final plans are still in the works for the daytime event.
The parade is being organized by the Greater Patchogue of Chamber of Commerce’s Patchogue Riverfront Committee.
“We’re talking about starting at 1:06 in the afternoon to honor the guys from the [106th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard] who were killed out of Westhampton Beach,” said Mark Miller, a co-owner at Harbor Crab Co. and The Dublin Deck.
“It will entail a moment of silence just outside the river, and then as many decorated boats as we can have will come down and then back up the river, down to the Crab and back,” he added.
“We’re going to reach out to a lot of veterans and veterans group in the area,” said John Sarno, a co-owner at Drift 82 on the river. “And we’ll be encouraging all boat honors that day to decorate their boats in a patriotic way in salute to our troops, our vets, and the Long Islanders who perished” in the March 15 helicopter crash in Iraq.
Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year, and the Fourth of July parade will be followed by the first-ever installment of the Alive by the River festival series.
“It’s going to kick off an amazing, kick-ass weekend,” Sarno said.
“And from here we’ll be making it an annual event.”