Portage Lakes celebrates July 4 early

1:32 PM, Jul 2, 2012   |    comments
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PORTAGE LAKES -- This isn't your typical holiday parade. This parade is on water.

Every year for July 4th weekend, the Portage Lakes celebrates the summer holiday with an annual boat parade. The uniquely decorated boats splash along the shores for several hours.

Photos: Portage Lakes boat parade & sandcastles

Many people beating the 90+ degree heat on Sunday watched the parade as they swam at the Portage Lakes State Park. Just a few months ago, hundreds of people were jumping into that same water -- but it was only 37 degrees -- for an annual Polar Bear event.

Photos: Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump 2012

The boat voted the best was a realistic duplication of a floating fire truck complete with a blasting water hose.

Meanwhile, dozens of people battled it out in a yearly sandcastle-building contest. The top team walked away with $100 in cash after creating a massive catfish in the sun-soaked sand.

Despite a few severe evening storms, people packed the shores and boaters dotted the lakes to watch a 30-minute fireworks display that ignited the night sky starting at 10 p.m.

Photos: Portage Lakes fireworks 2012

It capped off with an intense grand finale that blasted, banged and popped for more than two minutes as the crowd clapped, cheered and whistled.

Check out a portion of the fireworks display in the video above.


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