All Aboard

One of the entries from the 19th annual Houston County 4th of July Boat Parade. 

The 23rd Annual Houston County Lake 4th of July Boat Parade will launch at 5 p.m.Thursday.

The annual boat parade is one of the most unique patriotic celebrations in East Texas – and the competition is stiff. From pontoon boats to seadoos, watercraft owners go full-bore with their patriotic floating creations.

This year’s registration runs 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday by boat in Sutton Cove at the Statue of Liberty, or on land in Lake Forest Estates, 152 Mize Drive, Grapeland, on GPS.

Every year, boats gather in Sutton Cove by the Statue of Liberty at 4:45 p.m., before kicking off the parade around the lake.

Judging takes place before the parade begins.

Awards are given for “Most Original,” “Best of Show,” “Most Patriotic,” “Best Personal Watercraft,” “Best Spirited Crew,” and “Best Towed Craft.”

This event and the firework display over the lake at dark is put together by Houston County Lake resident Charles Sutton and a group of his neighbors. Every year, they pool their money to purchase the fireworks.

Awards for the boat parade are covered by a $5 boat parade entry fee for all competitors.