Best Dam Boat Parade

Lake Sun Staff
By land, there are a few spots in the area of the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge where you can see boats participating in the Best Dam Boat Parade on Saturday. However, those who want to see the parade are encouraged to pre-register and participate to help break the world record.

Be a part of history this weekend as the attempt to break the world record for Largest Boat Parade takes place on Lake of the Ozarks. Sponsored by Mortgage Headquarters (MHQ), the event is part of the Best Dam Birthday Bash, a series of events taking place this summer to celebrate Missouri's bicentennial as well as the 90th anniversary of the completion of the Bagnell Dam and the creation of the Lake of the Ozarks.

The parade will begin around 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 12 and will run from the 19-mile marker of the main channel (near Dog Days Bar and Grill) to the 26-mile marker (near Margaritaville Lake Resort). Official adjudicators from Guinness World Records will be on hand during the parade to certify the results.

From land, spectators can get a glimpse of the parade from Shawnee Bluff Winery or behind Pizza Hut in Lake Ozark. Other land locations include Paradise and Margaritaville.

According to Tom Abbett, chairman of the Best Dam Boat Parade Committee, there will be a variety of state-registered motorized vessels, from personal watercraft (life jackets required) up to 50-foot cruisers. Boats will be grouped together according to size as they make their way along the parade route. No paddle boats, canoes or kayaks will be allowed to participate.

While there are a few spots on land to view the parade, Abbett encourages those who want to see the parade should register to participate. Every boat counts and is needed to break the record.

“The best viewing area is to be involved in the parade,” he said.

The Missouri Water Patrol Division will be escorting each class of boats with officers on hand in case any issues come up. The parade will be conducted at idle speed. Although there will not be a no wake/idle speed zone along the entire parade route, the water patrol division asks boaters in he area to slow down and pay attention to other boats as they pass the parade participants.   

Abbett stresses that this is a boat parade and not a boat race. Boats will travel at a fast idle speed of no more than 5 to 8 miles per hour.

Registration for the parade costs $50 per boat and includes an official "Guinness World Records Attempt" flag to fly on each boat during the parade, an official numbered wrist band and a commemorative T-shirt marking the occasion.

"To make sure we break the record, we have to have every participant pre-register for the parade to ensure they are officially counted by the Guinness adjudicators," Abbett says. "We want to have as many boats as possible in the parade, so we welcome everyone to join us, but only boats that have been pre-registered can participate. You can't show up on the day of the event and think that you can just hop in the parade line because that won't count."

Abbett emphasized that this is not a political parade and asks participants to please refrain from flying "statement" flags so that the official "Guinness World Record Attempt" flags and participant T-shirts can be clearly seen by the adjudicators.

According to Guinness World Records, the current record stands at 1,180 vessels, which was set in Terengganu, Malaysia in September 2014.

Proceeds from the boat parade will go to the Best Dam Fireworks Display scheduled for Missouri's official birthday on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Fourteen barges will be strategically placed on the Lake of the Ozarks stretching from the 0-mile marker at Bagnell Dam to the 40-mile marker for what will be the largest fireworks display to ever take place in Missouri.

For more information on the boat parade or a complete list of Best Dam Birthday Bash festivities, visit

About the event

When: Registered boats need to be in their milling area by 9 a.m. The parade is expected to begin at 10 a.m. en masse.

Cost: $50 per boat includes T-shirt, boat flag

Where: 19-26MM

Registration required: