Grand prix boats sail down Franklin Street

August 6, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY – Thousands of spectators lined Franklin Street in the Uptown Arts District Saturday to watch the annual Super Boat Parade.

Like most local parades, children and adults alike cheered as they enjoyed performances by the Michigan City Soul Steppers Drill Team, waved to local firefighters aboard their engine, marveled at the horses carrying sheriff’s deputies, thanked motorcycle-riding U.S. military veterans for their service, admired a caravan of classic cars and danced to the sounds of the Michigan City High School Marching Band.

But the real treat of the evening was seeing dozens of speed boats of all sizes not only run the parade route, but also park to allow spectators a closer look and some interaction with the boat crews in town for the 10th annual BIG Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Great Lakes Grand Prix.

Clyde Petty traveled from Tampa, Florida, to test his 30-foot boat, The Dollhouse, in Sunday’s race. But first, he participated in Saturday’s parade and checked out the Taste of Michigan City.

“I heard Michigan City has the best fans so we came to check it out,” Petty said. “We’re excited to be here and hoping to take home first place.”

Three-year-old Jude Larson jumped and waved as the boats paraded past his family.

“They were awesome,” he said, noting the orange ones were his favorites.

Michigan City native Bob Johnson attended the parade and the Taste with family and friends.

He said, “Each year, this event gets bigger and bigger. I hope in future years they can handle the growth because it’s going to happen. And it only means great things for Michigan City.”

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