Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

4th of July parade…of a different sort.


Uncle Sam waits for everyone to show up.

How many of you went to a 4th of July parade this year? I suppose if you don’t live in the United States the odds are slim that you did, but if you live over here maybe you got to enjoy some patriotism on wheels! Or hooves as the case may be.

Time to check your phone before the start.

I was extra lucky. I was in the South, on a lake that just happens to have some very patriotic water lovers. Every July on the 4th a huge community of jet skies and boats circles part of the lake at full speed.

This year I got to shoot images of them as they went by. It was a big group, probably more than a hundred total.

Fully decorated!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First there was the gathering of everyone. The waiting for the prompt 10:00 a.m. start. The chatting with friends. The smiles. The admiring of costumes and decorations.

Waiting and watching.

The increased anxiety for me.

You see we had been out on the lake the day before, talking to friends, telling them I’d be out there shooting. We told them to look for us and come by as close as they could.

We told them to smile.

Festive balloons.

I hoped I wouldn’t let them down. I’d be sitting in a boat moving up and down over choppy waters. They’d be out in the middle of the chop, moving fast across my bow.

Gathering for the run.

Anything could happen.

It was a beautiful day, bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, beautiful water. Perfect for a parade.

It’s gonna get crazy out there!

At two minutes to ten they took off. We high-tailed it to the other side of the lake and a particular point near where we planned on anchoring.

They’d have to go around us.

I was as ready as I could be. Extra batteries. Extra memory chips. And advice on shooting action shots from my friend Heather, aka Snap Happy Gal who does phenomenal work. You should visit her web site.

How did it turn out? Well, it was a blast. Here’s a slideshow of some of my favorite shots.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a perfect parade. I didn’t notice the waves much while I was shooting. But when I took the camera away from my face and saw the waves heading toward me I sort of freaked. They looked at least 3 feet tall! They looked like they’d swamp the boat! I scrambled toward the back of the boat a couple of times, but we stayed sea-worthy.

It was an honor to photograph these people enjoying their holiday. I especially liked to capture the families that were riding the waves together. My brother has posted some of these photos to a lake Facebook page. I will post more soon.

I hope you enjoyed my representation of a 4th of July lake parade. But honestly? You should have been there.

On the lake. Can’t get better than that!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

18 thoughts on “4th of July parade…of a different sort.

  1. Your photos are wonderful, Dawn. I need to practice taking action shots…that are not blurry!


    • We went out on two different days prior to the parade to practice. Brother drove the boat around and I ‘stalked’ wave runners. Turned out that just made me more nervous because most of those were not great! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen 4th of July parades, but never a boat parade. How much fun!


  3. You have some great talent with that camera! Nicely done!


    • Thank you Maggie. I had to straighten the ‘horizon’ on almost all of them. The boat I was in was bouncing so bad, and they were bouncing out there too. Plus there was no time to compose a shot and make sure the water was level. Still, I’m pleased with most of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What fun! You got some great shots. My favorite is the guy in yellow on a red jet ski with a large flag on the back waving through a huge spray of water. It really captures the action and fun of the event.


  5. Sure looks like fun
    Lily & Edward


  6. What great photos you snapped, Dawn! I can feel the coolness even from here (where it’s supposed to top 93 degrees today, ugh!) I’ve never seen a Fourth of July water parade, but it looks like an interesting concept. Why not enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer?!?


  7. You did a great job, despite roiling waters! Can’t think of a better way to spend a hot July holiday than out on the water.


  8. wow how wonderful! love the photos- could almost feel the waves!


  9. great job capturing the joy of the day! reminds me of 4th of july at Wiers Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee, Winn’s namesake. Many boats on parade and then fireworks shot over us as we watched from my dad’s boat. 🙂


  10. Enjoyed your slideshow! That is the best kind of a parade… on the water!


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