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Trump supporters taking to the water for Labor Day weekend MAGA parades

President Donald Trump’s fans are taking to the water this weekend to show their support for his re-election with boat parades on Coralville Lake and the Mississippi River.

“Join fellow patriot boaters on Coralville Lake this Labor Day for an All-American, family-friendly boat parade event,” according to posts on Facebook.

At noon Saturday, a flotilla of Trump supporters will set sail on the Mississippi River at Moline, Ill., “to honor our president and his many accomplishments,” according to the organizers. “This is a day for Trump supporters to have fun, fellowship and enjoy the beauty of the Mississippi River.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, a group calling itself the Port Louisa Trumpers are organizing a boat parade at Muscatine.

“We encourage you to display a Trump flag, American flag or anything of a positive nature,” the organizers said in a flyer inviting participants. “Bring noise makers such as bells, whistles, air horns, trombones.”

The “Make the Rez Great Again” boat parade on Coralville Reservoir from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 7 started “pretty spontaneously,” said Karen Fesler, a Johnson County Republican Party member who is helping with publicity. The boat parade isn’t sponsored by the party, but she reports a lot of interest and a lot of people coming into the party’s headquarters at 2245 Second St., Coralville, to get signs for their boats.

“There’s a possibility of a lot of boats on the lake that day with a lot of people being Trumpy,” Fesler said.

With many political activities canceled because of COVID-19, including traditional community parades, MAGA — Make America Great Again — boat parades have become popular. A Trump boat parade on West Okoboji in northwest Iowa drew more than 1,200 boats, according to news reports.

In addition to the parades this weekend, another one is planned Sept. 12 on Saylorville Lake in central Iowa.

At Moline, Ill., plans call for the parade to begin at entrance of the Captains Table Marquis Marina, 4801 River Dr. It will proceed downriver to Arsenal Island. Boaters will then turn above Lock 15 near the Old Boat House restaurant and head up river in front of Lindsay Park Yacht Club along River Drive in Davenport before returning to Captains Table.

Participants are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines, including wearing masks and having hand sanitizer on their boats.

For more information, contact jeanneyeoman@yahoo.com or (319) 551-1184.

At Muscatine, boaters will meet at 1 p.m. at Bass Island seven miles south of Muscatine. They will meet with boaters coming from the north on the first curve in the Mississippi River below Muscatine near the Cargill grain bins and terminal. The parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. and proceed along the Muscatine River front, under the Highway 92 bridge, then turn around and proceed downriver along the same route and end at the starting point. Spectators are invited line the riverfront.

Contact Ken Purdy at (319) 212-0188 or kenpurdy@gmail.com for more information.

On Coralville Lake, plans are for boaters to start from either Bobbers Grille/Scales Point Marina in North Liberty or Coralville Lake Marina, formerly G.S. Marine, in Iowa City, and meet about 2 p.m. at Mehaffey Bridge.

Nonboaters are invited to join the celebration at the Mehaffey Bridge pedestrian trail.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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