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Region’s floating history will be on parade

Cars aren’t the only thing people love to clean up, make pretty and show off. Sometimes, hobbyists spend many a weekend and many a penny making their boats pretty spiffy, too.

Those floating-car enthusiasts will be out in force on Saturday afternoon, showing off their vessels in a classic yacht parade organized by the Port Orchard Yacht Club.

With the yacht club’s 50th birthday quickly approaching — it was brought to life in 1956 — club member Lynne DeMichele said a parade seemed like the perfect way to celebrate.

“We have quite a few club members who own classic yachts,” DeMichele said. “Many of them have a great fondness for them and want to preserve the old maritime heritage, and the romance of the old wooden boats.”

Saturday’s event is not limited to the yacht club members, however, as DeMichele said classic boat enthusiasts from all over the region were invited to participate.

“This is just about the cruising capital of the world,” she said, explaining that Puget Sound is brimming with both wooden boat festivals and enthusiasts. “This is a mecca for people with classic yachts — and not just yachts. Working boats, too.”

DeMichele said many of the boats to be featured in the parade Saturday were working boats in their former lives. Some were used in official capacities, such as patrolling for submarines in World War II, while others were used in underground activities, like delivering bootleg liquor.

So far, DeMichele said more than 40 boats are confirmed for the event, which will begin at 3 p.m. “Some people have probably already sailed out here,” she said.

She said the boats will begin the parade at the yacht club, on the western end of Sinclair Inlet. From there, they will proceed down to Annapolis Beach, then head back to the yacht club.

“One of the best places to see the boats will probably be along the breakwater at the public marina downtown,” she said.

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