A Parade of Comedy
A large crowd filled every inch of the outdoor deck at Old Marco Lodge. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

A Parade of Comedy

By Melinda Gray

On Saturday, Feb. 15, boaters, volunteers and a large audience gathered to participate in the 18th Annual Mardi Gras-Goodland Boat Parade. This year’s theme was “Comedy,” and 13 boats were decorated and entered into the event.

The parade cruised through Goodland Harbor — now officially Buzzard’s Bay South — and ended at the new boat park.

Each year, proceeds are donated to Avow Hospice Inc., and help support services provided by their Marco Island office. Donations were collected through t-shirt sales, raffles, auctions, crafts and direct contributions. Last year, the popular event raised $18,000 for hospice.

Committee Chair Elaine Ritchie said the inspiration for a Goodland Mardi Gras boat parade came to her 19 years ago, after her daughter spent Mardi Gras in New Orleans. “It’s a fun idea, and Goodlanders love to dress up,” said Ritchie.


And the winner is…

1st place: Boat 9 – “Ain’t We Got Fun” Chuck and Sue Thomas, Marco Island

2nd place: Boat 11 – “Up in Smoke” Cheech and Chong, Goodland

3rd place: Boat 5 – “Men’s Legs Contest” aka “Kinky Boots” John Ritchie and Margie Hart, New Jersey

Honorable Mentions:

Boat 7 – “The Monkeys” John and Jack Ritchie, Newmanstown, PA

Boat 10 – “The Cat in the Hat” Greg and Debi Hoskins, Goodland, and Laura Carney, Marco Island

Boat 13 – “Flintstones” Bob and Beth Wire, Marco Island

Boat 6 – “Women Comedians” Dave Wensel, Goodland

Boat 4 – “Buzzard Lope” Tim Cahill and Giz, Goodland

Boat 12 – “Clowns” Lisa and Janet, Goodland

Boat 1 – “Circus/Clowns” Jim Ingliss, Goodland

Boat 8 – “Circus/Clowns” Donna Ingliss, Goodland

Boat 3 – “Winter Olympics” Jim and Robin Roberts, Goodland

Boat 2 – “Caddy Shack” Peggy and Don Meyer, Marco Island

Special Prizes:

Participation – Boat 9 “Ain’t We Got Fun” Chuck and Sue Thomas

Best Props/Costumes – Boat 13 “Flintstones” Bob and Beth Wire

Most Original – Boat 11 “Up in Smoke” Cheech and Chong

Best Music/Sound – Boat 9 “Ain’t We Got Fun” Chuck and Sue Thomas

Best Overall Appearance – Boat 11 “Up in Smoke” Cheech and Chong

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