Boat Parade Route An Issue - Letter

Saturday evening thousands of people lined the banks of Cape Cod Canal to view the parade of lighted boats. My wife and I were among the hundreds who arrived hours early so we would have a choice spot along the canal bank. Our spot was north of the Sandwich Marina.

About 9:40 PM the hundreds of us could see the first sign of the boat parade. As we all excitedly waited for the boats to reach us (they were too far away to see clearly) we were stunned to see them turn to begin their return back down the canal. What was happening? No boat parade for us!

With groans of frustration we all started back to our cars to leave. The comments overheard were not very polite. My first question is, who decided to have the boats turn back so soon that probably, a thousand children and adults were deprived of what they spent hours waiting for? The second question is, if this turnaround was planned, why didn’t someone (Coast Guard, police, park personnel, et cetera) start around 6 PM warning those north of the turnaround that the boats would not be going to the end of the canal? Then those hundreds and hundreds of us could have moved to another location so we, too, could have seen the boat parade!

Someone owes an apology to hundreds of people for a very frustrating fiasco.

Raymond L. Gehling
Bunker Circle


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  • capetown

    Ray hit it on the head. As a resident of Sandwich on the north side of the bridge (Sagamore Beach side) my friends and I walked through the state parking lot expecting to view a spectacular parade of lit boats and ships at the end of the canal. We were greeted by a young man who was a part of the celebration who informed us that the parade route had been substantially shortened. In addition the amount of participants had been reduced. When we relocated not far from the electric power plant but across the canal the boats started to parade through. However, when the boats u-turned they never came close to our side as they had on the power plant side. They could barely be seen. Before you knew it the parade was over. We turned to each other and said "is that it". We are talking about a 100 year celebration. It was a pathetically lame attempt at a celebration. It was tantamount to a 20 minute street parade when your friends and a few politicians and a fire truck dress antique cars with streamers and blow their horns while kids sitting on a float throw candy to the crowd. This should have been absolutely spectacular but it wasn't. This isn't an annual event. This was a once in a lifetime event. It should have been bigger and better. The canal committee should have hired a few tall ships so-called and other more extravagant ships to truly give homage to this important occasion. It was disappointing. Further disappointed for us working residents that couldn't be at the festivities last night makes me wonder why weren't Tuesday's events scheduled for the weekend. We need to hear from the committee and have them explain these irreversible decisions and shortcomings.