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MONTICELLO — Even though the Madam Carroll will gather less than normal attendance, the recognition and respect for local veterans will still take hold at the 16th annual Honor Our Military Patriotic Boat Parade on July 3.

This year, the city of Monticello will host the event following the 2020 passing of previous event organizer Kean MacOwan. The late Steve Jones and Joe Crivello founded the boat parade in 2005.

Similar to previous years, boarding will be at the Madam Carroll docks at 8:15 a.m., an opening ceremony will be at 9:20 a.m. and the Madam Carroll will sail at 9:30 a.m. across the lake to the Oakdale Dam, where it will meet up with the participating boats at 10:30 a.m.

The boat parade will conclude at the Madam Carroll docks at 12:20 p.m.

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, the Madam Carroll will only board 100 veterans accompanied by one guest. Whereas, according to Mayoral Assistant Lori Cheever, a normal attendance would be more than 400 people.

To reserve a seat on the Madam Carroll, call the Mayor’s office at 574-583-9889.

For entertainment, the Madam Carroll will just feature a DJ instead of a live band, so guests can get to know the veterans aboard the boat easier.

“The boat parade is to get to know the veterans and their stories, so we don’t want to risk taking time away from that opportunity,” Cheever said.

Tom Goffe, a local World War II veteran trained in parachute rigging, will be recognized for recently receiving the Legion of Honor medal from the French government.

According to Bill Madden, American Legion Post 180 commander, Goffe supported 132 aircraft and 132 glider sorties on D-Day, supported General George Patton’s Third Army as it invaded France, and delivered more than 1 million gallons of gasoline as Americans advanced into Germany in April 1945.

Madden said Goffe received a Silver Star for serving in five campaigns, EAME Theater medal, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, and the World War II Victory Medal. President Harry Truman also sent him a letter to thank him for his service in the war.

Goffe was officially awarded the medal June 18 by members of the French Consulate in Chicago at a ceremony hosted by the American Legion Post 180.

Participation in the July 4 parade is open to anyone with a boat. People are encouraged to decorate their boats, dress patriotically, follow behind the Madam Carroll, or watch.

Later that day, Lake Freeman will host its 2021 fireworks show. Their new location will be at the high banks across from Tall Timbers Marina on the west side of Lake Freeman.

Like last year, a Celebration in the Park will not be conducted, but Cheever said the city hopes to bring it back next year.

The Celebration in the Park usually follows the boat parade and volunteers from local businesses provide lunch, snacks, games and activities for attendees.

Last year, the celebration was canceled due to COVID-19 health concerns as the state was still following Gov. Eric Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana” pandemic plan.

For more information about the boat parade, call 574-583-9889, and visit Freeman Fireworks on Facebook.

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