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Sea captains and landlubbers unite for the first Venetian Boat Parade at McKinley Marina. (PHOTO: Flickr/Fellowship of the Rich)

Watch the Venetian Boat Parade light up the lake this weekend

Watch some Brew City boats brighten up the night at the Milwaukee Venetian Boat Parade, as the event – sponsored by the McKinley Marina Boat Owners Association, the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, Milwaukee Yacht Club, MAST and Milwaukee County Parks – sets sail on Saturday, Aug. 19, for the first time in the McKinley Marina.

The fluorescent floating festivities, hosted at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., will open up at 5 p.m., with food and beverages available.

The beaming boats themselves will then take off beginning at 8:30 p.m. – complete with a lineup of celebrity judges (including our own Molly Snyder) determining which vibrant vessels, decorated with lights and more, will win Best in Show, Runner-Up and Most Entertaining for the night. The winners will receive a plaque sent to their homes, as well as their names etched into history on one of the three anchor trophies located inside the Marina's Overlook Pavilion.

Here's a map of the boat's expected route:

Better yet, spectators will be able to watch the event for free – while all the proceeds from boat registration and food and beverages will go toward the Milwaukee Water Commons School, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center and McKinley Marina Tenants Association. And in case it literally rains on this parade, the beautiful boats will head back out to the water on its rescheduled rain date on Sunday, Aug. 20.

For more information, visit the McKinley Boat Owners Association's website. Otherwise, sea captains and landlubbers unite as the Venetian Boat Parade illuminates the night.

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