History-making attempt for Largest Boat Parade held at Lake of the Ozarks

Charis Patires
Lake Sun Leader
Mark Marcotte, an adjudicator with the Guinness Book of World Records presents an "Officially Amazing" plaque to Best Dam Boat Parade committee members.

The kickoff fundraising event for the Missouri Bicentennial and the 90th celebration of Bagnell Dam was held Saturday as boaters tried to break the word record for Largest Boat Parade.

Mark Marcotte, an adjudicator with the Guinness Book of World Records traveled to the Lake area to oversee the history-making attempt. In order to count, several criteria had to be met. A registration for every boater on the parade route was required, boats had to fly an official flag, and the route needed to be at least 1 mile long. With more than 600 boats registered in the parade, the record did not get made but officials say they felt it was a successful display of community coming together with boats from all over the country participating. Boaters from more than a dozen states across the U.S. had registered. The parade route extended from the 19 to 26-mile markers, with boats getting in line from about the 12 to 19-mile markers. 

Pontoons participating in the parade.

The current Largest Boat Parade world record is held in Malaysia with 1,180 boats which was held in 2014. There are currently more than 50,000 world records in the Guinness Book of World Record’s database.

Local chambers of commerce, the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau, Tri-County Lodging Association, area business owners and volunteers are combining their efforts to bring a variety of events to the Lake this summer to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Bagnell Dam. Money raised from the boat parade will go to host the Best Dam Fireworks Display August 10. The plan is to shoot off fireworks on barges spread out every couple of miles from the 0-39-mile markers.

Other events planned this summer are the Best Dam Photo Contest for Kids (deadline is July 31), Best Dam Car Show July 31at Seven Springs Winery, Best BBQ Birthday Bash August 6 & 7 at the Laurie Fairgrounds, Best Dam 5K Fun Run/Walk August 7 at Old Kinderhook, Best Dam Motorcycle Ride August 7 at the Zack Wheat Post 624 in Sunrise Beach, Best Dam En Plein Air Art Festival August 9-14 across the Lake area, as well as other celebrations. 

To celebrate Missouri's 200th birthday, communities all over the state are hosting events as well.

For more information, go to www.bestdambirthdaybash.com.