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‘Lite Up Your Boat’ Saturday Night

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A shimmering event is coming back to this year’s 54th Annual Ogdensburg International Seaway Festival.

The festival is kicking off July 18 with 10 days of activities planned to celebrate the city’s history and the region’s cultural heritage.

The Finished River Rats “Lite up your Boat” Flotilla will be held at 9:30 p.m. July 19.

The flotilla will showcase lit-up boats parading from the lighthouse, past the City Dock and down to the boat launch by Patterson Street.

Organizer Laurel Lee Roethel said she hopes the event will showcase the city from both sides of the river.

There’s no limit how many or what kind of boats can join. Ms. Roethel said boats big and small can participate, even kayaks.

“We’re hoping for a bigger turnout this year. It doesn’t matter the size of the boat-it could be a jet ski-it doesn’t matter,” Ms. Roethel said. ‘It is for fun, gives people a chance to be creative and a chance for us to highlight the river during Seaway Festival.”

The event was held for the first time last year.

“I don’t think people knew what it was going be or what to expect,” Ms. Roethel said. “We’re expecting a bigger turnout this year now that people have come out and seen what it is all about. I know people have being buying lights at garage sales and saving lights to prepare for the event.”

The theme of this year’s festival is “Redneck.” But Ms. Roethel said boats can choose their own theme.

“There is any number of themes people can choose–we have seen “Christmas,” and “Red, White and Blue,” Ms. Roethel said. “With this year’s festival’s theme, “Redneck,” that opens a whole can of worms. I fully expect to see a lit outhouse.”

The event is free to watch.

Boats can register for free.

Anyone looking to register for the flotilla should call Ms. Roethel at 393-4770.

The event is sponsored by Greenbelt Docks River Rats Design.

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