Capturing a Miles-Long Parade on the Connecticut River

This is not a story about politics. It’s about being in an unexpected place where you are able to capture the independent spirit of Americans through photojournalism. Let me explain.

My husband, who is also a photographer, and I went for a drive to Essex, a picturesque town along the Connecticut River, where we came to shoot some early fall images. As we walked to a seaside park, I noticed there were many people gathered at the edge of the pier. We had no idea what was happening, but of course, we took our cameras and went to investigate.

A crowd had formed along the dock waving flags and waiting to view a flotilla of boats sail up the river. We discovered it was a rally to show their support for President Donald Trump organized by the Facebook Group, Connecticut Boaters for Trump.

One boater drove closer to the pier and yelled up, “Wait to you see all that’s coming”. I had no idea what to expect, but we stayed to photograph the event. So glad we did as it turned out to be the largest parade of boats I’ve ever seen. It was reported to be over 1,000 boats sailing more than 20 miles round-trip from the mouth of the Connecticut River to Eagles Landing State Park in Haddam.

It was amazing to witness this miles-long floating parade, and because the boats kept coming, we stayed for a while. We then drove up to a park by the Good Speed Opera House to get ahead of the flotilla before they turned back at the Swing Bridge.

Every kind of vessel, from a small pleasure boat to an ocean-going yacht and everything in between sailed past us. Boaters and people on shore alike proudly waved the American flag, along with various Trump support flags.

One boat loudly played the National Anthem as people along the shore sang along and wildly cheered them on. Everywhere you looked, it was a very positive atmosphere. There was no name-calling for the rival political candidate or his party. Just many different people coming together to celebrate their pride in country, and show support for a man they believe in.

I think we could all agree that freedom of expression and political choice are the hallmarks of a great nation. This was an extraordinary event put on and attended by ordinary people. I’m grateful for the opportunity to capture and share with you some images of a moment to remember.

For larger views and to see the slideshow, click on any photo below.