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On Saturday morning, one final Trump boat parade left the Jupiter Inlet on its way to Mar-A-Lago.
The ‘Trumptilla’ was headlined by a huge barge holding seven emergency vehicles to represent first responders supporting President Donald Trump.
More than 300 boats were seen passing under the Blue Heron Bridge.
Organizer Carlos Gavidia says the boat parades have helped register 200,000 Republicans over the last six months.
Saturday morning, the sixth and final Trump boat parade before the presidential election left the Jupiter Inlet and headed to Mar-a-Lago.
The organizer, Carlos Gavido, says he is proud of what he’s accomplished since May.
“You know it’s pretty amazing, to be quiet honest. It’s an overwhelming amount of patriotism," said Gavido. "This movement has ignited the silent majority. They’re tired of being silent. You know this gives them the ability to go out and be with other people and not be ridiculed.”
The Dispatch has more on the Trump boat parade's origins:
It is a breezy fall afternoon, and I’m standing on the bow of a 48-foot catamaran near the mouth of the Great Wicomico River. From this privileged position, I count the boats coming up from the marina: a cobbled-together collection of dinghies, cabin cruisers, runabouts, and a lone jet ski—all parading for the greater glory of President Donald Trump.
There are exactly 120 of them, bobbing in the chop. Most are decorated with the Stars and Stripes, the Gadsden, and Make America Great Again flags. A few rebels hoist the Confederate flag. My own vessel, Mojo, is flying several custom-made Boaters for Trump banners. Their designer, Dan Draper, helms her, making him the de facto leader of this fleet.
Draper is one of the original boaters for Trump. A Georgia resident in his mid-50s who spends his free time in the Virgin Islands, he and his wife, Lauren, found themselves caught stateside earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was an ordeal (and in Draper’s opinion, a “crock of shit”), but like nearly everyone else, they bore lockdown through the spring with a grimace.
In late April, a Florida incident caught Draper’s eye. Carlos Gavidia, a boat owner in Palm Beach County, held a 1,500-boat Trump rally near the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort. It was flashy, fun, and totally a fluke. Gavidia only planned the event to stick it to his homeowner’s association, which did not allow flag-flying—including the gigantic MAGA flag waving off the back of his 42-foot center console. So he rebelled. He renamed his vessel “Trump,” wrapped it in patriotic colors, and invited anyone with a boat and MAGA flags to take over the Intracoastal Waterway.
As Draper watched Gavidia’s saga unfold, he sensed opportunity. What started as a one-off event was quickly becoming a movement. Parades were happening in any state with water and the carnivalesque scenes were going viral. Even Trump caught on and tweeted approvingly. For Draper, this was the natural release of energy pent-up during lockdowns. After hosting his own 400-boat parade on Lake Lanier, he created Boaters for Trump, a Facebook group where all boat-owning Trump-believers can vibe out and plan their festivities.
Draper is an aggressive recruiter and minor celebrity in the boating community. A few weeks before this event, he was fresh off the success of Lake Lanier’s 3,800-boat Great American Boat Parade, and decided to take a quiet cruise up the Chesapeake Bay. Tom Kimmitt, one of the roughly 14,500 members of Boaters for Trump, took notice, and asked him to help lead the Reedville efforts. Draper gladly assented to the honor.
“We’ve got nothing else to do but float around,” he chuckled.
And now, as we plow down the river, Draper tries to induct me into the movement. Boaters for Trump, he explains, is for everyone. You don’t even have to own a boat, or have access to a boat. Just loving the president is enough for membership.
As for the success of this final boat parade, judge for yourself by looking at all these wonderful pictures and videos of the Trumptilla.