Rallying on the river: Trump supporters to have local boat rally Saturday

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, September 2, 2020

This Saturday, area boaters and supporters of President Donald Trump will have a “Keep America Great Boat Rally.

Organizer Stacey Holley said all participants are encouraged to bring flags, posters, banners and of course, their enthusiasm, as the boats make their way down the Ohio River from Huntington, West Virginia to Ironton.

Holley said she grew up on the river, since her dad had a boat, and knows how much the river means to people. She remembers all the boats that would line up to be in the Regatta. And she has a lot of friends that post their boating pictures online, so Holley thought bringing a rally to the Ohio River was a natural.

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“People here absolutely love the river and a lot of people visit just for the river, so I thought why can’t we do what everybody else is all across the country?,” she said.

Part of her inspiration was the one in Clearwater, Florida that wanted to set a Guinness World Record for “World’s Largest Boat Parade” on Aug. 15 by having nearly 2,000 boats registered. Guinness is reviewing video of the event to count all the boats.

“It might not be on that scale, but you have to start somewhere,” Holley said.

Boaters are asked to arrive at 1 p.m. at Adam’s Landing Marina in Huntington, West Virginia on Saturday. The rally will leave the marina at 1:45 p.m. and head down the river to Ironton, where they are expected to arrive around 2:30 p.m.

Holley thought about having the rally on Sept. 12, but found out that this Saturday is the last official boating day of the season and it is also Labor Day weekend.

“So, I said it’s a deal, it’ official, we are doing this,” she said.

She decided to have everyone gather in the afternoon to give people time to get to Huntington.

“I have people coming from Gallipolis, I have people coming from Ashland,” she said. “And this has blown up to something bigger than I ever thought it would be. If everyone comes that says they are coming, they are going to have to be there by 1 p.m. so they can get a good spot.”

She said the trip is about 22 miles and the boats will be doing about 5-10 mph.

“So, it is going to take a while for this thing to take place,” Holley said.

She encouraged people who can’t make the rally to watch it from the area boat docks and river banks.

“You can bring your flags, your banners, wear their shirts. Whatever they have,” Holley said. “And even if you are not a Trump supporter, just bring an American flag. This is for everybody.”