Fairfield Bay to host annual “Boati Gras”

Fairfield Bay celebrates Mardi Gras in September at beautiful Greers Ferry Lake. Entering its fifth year, this colorful party on the water festival is everything its name suggests. Since Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, Boati Gras mean Fat Boat, with a whole lot of fun happening aboard.

“If we celebrated in February or March, everyone would freeze out on the water,” said Liz “Lil Sista” Beach, co-founder of Boati Gras. “In September, the air is cooler, the water is still warm and everyone is super excited to grab some beads and parade in their finest Mardi Gras ensembles. The whole point of Boati Gras is to get outside in the water, have some fun and not take ourselves too seriously.”
Kicking off at 5 p.m. at the Fairfield Bay Marina, Boati Gras will have authentic Cajun food, a parade led by the FFB tugboat, music, a decorated boat contest and a blessing of the boats.  Beads will fly, ducks will bob around, laughter will be heard and a general fun atmosphere – led by the Krewe of Jesters – will last well into the evening.

“Boati Gras is just pure fun,” said Liz. “We want folks to come play, to dress up, to act silly, to put aside all that serious stuff that life throws at you every day and just relax and have fun!”

To be in the parade, all you have to do is decorate your boat any way you want and be at the Marina at 5 p.m. Decorate your boat in festive Mardi-Gras style regalia – purple, green and gold (or not) and line up at 6 p.m. beyond the breakwater to join the parade. 

No boat? No problem! Stay on shore or at the dock to catch a few beads! Great fun for the entire family. 

For more information or to gather your own Krewe and boat, contact the Fairfield Bay Marina. It’s all about good clean fun on the lake, and it’s free to participate. 

Schedule of events

4-5 p.m. – Gather at the dock (Fairfield Bay Marina)

5 p.m. – Fun, fol-de-rol and fleet regalia with the Town Crier and the 2017 King of Krewe Jesters and his loyal subjects 
Second-line band escorts the royal personage and entertains the loyal subjects
Introduction of His Royal Highness and Court
A few words of wit and wisdom from His Royal Jesterness
His Most High Jesterness leads the crowd in a line-dance
The Town Crier tells us all what’s really going on (because only he really knows)
The Blessing of the Fleet 
The Cleansing of the Fleet

6 p.m. – On with the parade
The Boati Gras Boat Parade begins where beads, rubber ducks and candy come ashore
Jambalya and Mardi Gras Fare – not to be missed – by the Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Men’s club.

Following the parade – 
Awards of all types – fit for any king (or queen). Sixteen categories in all, including Best Jester, Best Costume, Best Crowd

Response, Best Krewe Spirit, Best All Around Boat, Lagniappe, Piquante, Un Bijon  and so many more! 
7 to 9 p.m. – Live Boati Gras music to dance the night away