At least 200 boats to 'make waves' for Trump from Naples to Marco Island, organizers say
At least 200 boats are expected to navigate Collier County waters Saturday in support of President Donald Trump's reelection, according to event organizers.
"My best estimation will be between easily 200 to 300 boats but it wouldn't surprise me if there was double that," said Steve Loyd, co-organizer of the Making Waves for Trump event.
Boats will depart at 10 a.m. from Naples City Dock to navigate down the intracoastal waterway at idle speed concluding at the Jolley Bridge on Marco Island, according to a news release from the Republican Club of South Collier County.
The club invited all boaters to decorate their boats in patriotic colors with Trump banners and to fly U.S. flags. It also encouraged everyone attending in boats and on the shore to maintain social distance.
Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means staying at least 6 feet from other people, not gathering in groups of more than 10, staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
"We will have very small boats, probably even WaveRunners, all the way up to 50- and 60-foot sportfishing boats," Loyd said.
The trip will take approximately two hours, according to Loyd.
Collier County Sheriffs Office has a boating safety plan in place to help staff this event in conjunction with the Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Naples and Marco Island police departments, according to Kristine Gill, CCSO's media relations officer.
"Our Marine Bureau will monitor routes for the event from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to ensure boater safety for participants as well as for those boaters in the general area," she wrote.
"Members of the public who attend on their own watercraft should maintain a safe boating distance from the parade itself to avoid any wake from boats in the event," Gill wrote.
Other boat parades supporting Trump have taken place recently in Florida, and Trump took to Twitter to thank participants. "Thank you very much to our beautiful “boaters.” I will never let you down!" he wrote.
The boat parade is not the only event happening Saturday in Collier to support Trump's reelection. The club will also host a country concert starting at 10 a.m. on Dolphin Point, Isles of Capri, where attendants will be able to watch the boat parade.
The concert sold out after 280 Republicans registered to attend, according to Kim Mitchel, club president. Of those, 75 will watch the concert from Mitchel's home, which is next to the concert venue.
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