Annual Shell Knob boat parade celebrates July 4

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Annual event only one of its kind on Table Rock Lake

Those who visit Shell Knob on July 4 at about 6:30 p.m. can bear witness to a one-of-a-kind event that takes place on Table Rock Lake each year.

Organized by Becky Caddell and her husband, Jerry, residents of Shell Knob and even tourists visiting the area take part in a boat parade each year, showing their patriotism on the way to a prime viewing area for the city's fireworks show.

Becky Caddell, who has organized the event for about five years, said it was originally a morning activity, but no one ever showed up.

"When I took over, we moved it to the evening before the fireworks," she said. "Last year, we had about 25-30 boats."

Caddell and her husband lead the parade in vintage style, as the two are members of the Heartland Classic Antique Boat Club.

"We lead the parade with our 1967 Owens Aruba Cabin Cruiser, which is an antique, 42-foot, double-planked mahogany boat," she said.

The parade is made even more patriotic by the decorations some boaters choose to install.

"We encourage people to put up a flag at least, but some people go all out with lights and everything," Caddell said. "There's even a guy with houseboat that has a water cannon he shoots off."

Caddell said the annual parade, the only one on the lake according to the Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce, is meant to spread patriotism and a love for the USA.

"We love to celebrate the pride we have in our country, and we are always thankful to the troops and what they've done for us," she said. "It's a free event, and we want to break the participation record from last year, because the fireworks will be bigger and better this year, so we want to be on par with that."

Caddell said those interested in participating should meet at the mouth of the White and Kings rivers at between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. The parade will proceed under the Shell Knob bridge and to the Playport area, which is a prime viewing area for viewing the fireworks show.

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