FFCBC Boat Parade route finalized and ready to go

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer
kkellar@fortfrances.com

After some uncertainty, the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship Boat Parade is officially back on.

Originally scheduled and then cancelled due to lingering uncertainty surrounding the riverfront and infrastructure status of Front Street, Beyak Automotive Group marketing and public relations manager Holly Kaemingh said that an alternate parade route was struck that will allow the parade to go ahead.

“We were really excited to get it all sorted out,” Kaemingh said.

“We were just so excited to get it back up and going. There were a few safety concerns with the riverfront, so we were really excited when the town allowed us [the alternate route].”

The Boat or Angler Parade is generally the kick-off event for the bass championship, sending the competing teams down along the riverfront so fans and families can see the boats and catch some goodies along the way. In previous years the parade has stuck mostly to Front Street, but due to the recent flooding, the new route will see anglers leave the big tent following the rules meeting and then proceed down Front Street to Mosher Avenue, turn up Mosher to Nelson Street, and then take Nelson down to the end point at Victoria Avenue.

As Sunset Country Ford is one of the bass championships’ longtime presenting sponsors, Kaemingh said it only made sense to have the team at Fort Frances GM (both a part of Beyak Automotive Group) to join in and help bring a fun family event back to the big tent.

“Sunset Country Ford is the presenting sponsor of the tournament, so that’s kind of what kickstarted our involvement,” Kaemingh said.

“We just thought, ‘what else can we do?’ With the help from our friends at Fort Frances GM, we thought the parade would be the perfect event for the whole crew to jump in on. The parade has always just been such a big event in this community during the bass tournament, and such a great event for families and children… we thought the community needed something for families this year, so we really wanted to bring it back. We’d love to bring it back to what is used to be: that big parade, lots of fun, and we’re hoping we get lots of participation this year.”

So far the group is hoping for at least 20 angler teams to take part in the parade this year, but Kaemingh said that there has been plenty of interest from the teams already, and more teams are able to join up with the parade when it departs from the tent. The parade is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, with participating anglers being asked to go to the Shevlin Woodyard immediately following the rules meeting.

“We’re hoping to see those boats out there, and maybe a few more,” Kaemingh said.

“We’ll be leaving right after the rules meeting, so all of the anglers will be at the tent for the meeting, and should they decide to participate in the parade they can just join in.”

There will also be a number of angler participation prizes for teams who do decide to take part in the parade by way of a draw.

With the parade set to run later today, and excitement for the tournament overall at a fever pitch, Kaemingh said the teams at Beyak Automotive Group, Sunset Country Ford and Fort Frances GM are all sharing in the excitement to help bring the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and boat parade back to town in 2022.

“We’re really excited for the tournament this year,” Kaemingh said.

“We’re always wanting to help out in any ways we can, and we really think this parade will be a great event for the community.”