I love Boat Week. There are numerous activities working up to the main event, the send off the sailboats on the Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat race. Boat Week is fun and energetic.
The kick-off is actually on a Wednesday night with the Rotary Parade. This is an event I have never attended, but those who do attend the parade really enjoy it. That is followed by Family Night on Thursday, where families can walk up and down the Black River and view the boats, visit the midway, ride the zip-line, climb aboard the large Ferris wheel, enjoy some great food from vendors, check out the live manikins, and participate in many activities especially designed for families. The night is topped off by fireworks.
Friday night is Boat Night. This is a party night, and the later it gets, the more crowded it gets. Many of the same activities available on Family Night are repeated on Boat Night. Beer tents let attendees celebrate, bands play on stage, and the walk along the Black River gets more and more crowded as the night rolls on. This is the party before the Saturday morning send off of the sailboats.
Saturday morning starts with the Boat Parade. As the boats head out of the Black River and onto Lake Huron for the start of the race they are out on their deck, waving at the hundreds of spectators lining the river. We normally watch the parade, but this year we were on a press boat to take photos of the start of the race, so in a sense we were part of the “parade” trying to maneuver out of the river.
The starts are timed for several hours, with the smallest boats starting first and the largest boats being the final ones to start. This year was great with spinnaker starts and a boat captain that put us into some great positions for photographs. As the day wore on the boat owners were watching the reports of a incoming storm and we could see the black clouds moving in.
As soon as everyone had taken all the photos they needed of the final race the captain had everyone sit down on the boat as he announced we were going to make a fast paced ride back in an attempt to get off Lake Huron and into the St. Clair River before the storm hit. It was a fast ride with a bit of rocking and rolling as the storm moved closer, and we were in good company as numerous boats were running the same race we were. The rain started to hit just north of the Blue Water Bridge. We made it safely back to dock.
A fun-filled week of activities and an exciting ride back to put an end to it all. Actually the activities for boat week end Saturday night with a Lighted Boat Parade, which we did not attend. If you are ever in the Port Huron area during Boat Week, I hope you take the time to enjoy at least some of the activities, if not all.