Lower lake levels may have kept some float entries away from neighboring Syracuse Lake, as well as Lake Wawasee. However, no problems were encountered during this year’s event.
“The Flotilla committee is very appreciative to everyone for participating, with the lake level and the heat, we think all the floats did an excellent job of decorating their pontoons,” stated Holly Tuttle. “We are already thinking about next year’s theme and hoping to announce it Aug. 11, on the Lilly Pad fundraiser to give everyone plenty of time to think how they will decorate their boats for next year’s Flotilla.”
Commodore Bob Myers chose the entry of “Lake Wawasee History,” entered by the Women of Today, a non-profit group, as his choice for the Commodore’s Trophy.
“The Women of Today has created a float for the past two years, not only because of the fun experience but also to aid in getting the name of our organization recognized in the community,” stated Deb Webb, WOT member. “Our float committee met approximately four times in order to determine what we wanted to do and what we wanted to include on our float. We decided to do something regarding the history of Wawasee because it is interesting to each of us and we decided on the Indian theme because a large number of us could participate.”
Barb Buss, WOT member, added “We started researching some Wawasee history and found an article about the “‘Indians of the Wawasee Watershed’ and knew immediately that that would work for us! The Women of Today had such a great time decorating the float” we had Cheryl Blakemore, (who is an artist from Michigan) come to help us paint our “canoe” using a picture of an authentic Indian canoe. The tent, fire, drums, boomerangs, and spears for hunting deer were just various items that the Indians used to survive.”
Webb added “Our committee met one evening to design the canoe. On the day of the Flotilla, we wanted to make it a fun filled day so we met for a carry-in brunch and then spent approximately an hour putting the float together. We had a wonderful time interacting with the spectators in the boats and on land. They were all very supportive and helped to make a wonderful memory for each of us.
“The unexpected highlight of the day was winning the Commodore Award. We are so grateful, honored and excited to have been chosen,” said Webb with Buss adding “We were absolutely thrilled when we were announced as the Commodore winner!”
The Pontoon of Justice, entered by Jim Kroemer of Harborside Condominiums, was chosen the winner of the Wawasee Property Owners Association Award with Dewight Jewett’s entry of “Sponge Bob Square Pants” and the youth on the boat proudly singing the theme song from the cartoon.
Jerry and Mary Juergen’s annual entry recognizing the military, won the Most Patriotic award, a new award this year, for their entry of “Army Cartoons.” A last minute entry featuring the Flintstones won the Most Original. However, the individuals entering this float are unknown.
“Pirates of the Sandbar” won the award for Best Lake Wawasee History and was entered by Kathleen Jones, Constitution Drive, Syracuse.
Neighborhood winners went to the Sleepy Owl entry from Jeff Larson of not only Garfield but also Yogi Bear for first and the pink flamingos entered by Deb Farmer, East Hatchery Road, Syracuse, taking second.
Prickett Properties entry of Peanuts won the business/commercial award with second going to Teghtmeyer Ace Hardware’s entry of “Smurfs.”
Wawasee Kiwanis entry took first in non-profit followed by Mike Boone’s entry of “Pepe LePew.”
Fritz Kreutzinger’s entry of “What’s Up Doc” took first in youth followed by Michael Kenney’s entry of “Youth Wagemaker Wolverine.” Winning the Antique Boat award was Robert Vandal’s 1948 17-Chris Craft Deluxe Runabout and Ted Rogers’ 1967 Century won the Wooden Boat award.
Winning the shore awards were Spink Condominium taking first with their Mario Brother’s rendition. Other shore entries included Harborside Condos with the “Harborside Loonies” and Bob McNary’s, “Wiley Coyote and Road Runner.”
A total of 17 entries participated this year. Due to low levels of the lake, the Flotilla could not travel as close to shore as in years past, much to the disappointment of some along shore. However, may boaters lined the route to see the entries as they passed various locations.
Flotilla Committee will host a cruise around Lake Wawasee on the SS LillyPad Aug. 11. A limited number of tickets are available at $30 each and can be purchased at Team Tuttle LLC, South Huntington Street, Syracuse, or reserved by calling (574) 457-3775.