© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
What you need to know about the 2020 elections across the greater Tampa Bay region.

Scores Of Boats Take Part In Rally To Support Trump

Boaters and fans of President Donald Trump rallied in Tampa Bay and waterfront settings Sunday to celebrate Flag Day and the President’s birthday.

The “Trumptilla” started just before noon at Beer Can Island in southern Hillsborough County, passing Davis Islands, Bayshore Boulevard and the Ballast Point Pier before sailing by MacDill Air Force Base.

About a dozen supporters of the President went to Ballast Point Park in South Tampa to watch the boats such as Dan Powell, a 1968 West Point graduate and a U.S. Army veteran. He carried a large Trump flag onto the pier and handed out pins to fellow Trump supporters, after the line of boats had passed by.

Jessie Meeker, who is visiting from Ohio, brought her four children to watch the boat parade.

"I support our country. I love our president. It's his birthday, so I thought it was an awesome thing to see," she said.

More than two dozen boats came by the pier, waving American flags and banners supporting the President’s re-election.  People at the pier trying their luck at fishing continued as some of the boats circled up. Reggae music from a radio flowed through the air. When dozens more came by kicking up a large wake, one fisherman worried the boats would cut his fishing lines offered some salty language.

The Trump supporters on the pier, however, continued to wave their flags and called out to the boats. The flotilla responded with waves and the honk of boat horns.

The local flotilla was one of many being held across the country, in waterways from Fort Lauderdale to the Great Lakes of Michigan to San Diego Bay in California. They’ve gained popularity in recent weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has limited large, public gatherings.

Sherri Hinton-Gerland of Tampa was inspired to post a local boat rally event on Facebook after seeing a story of a South Florida man ordered to remove a Trump banner from his dock. The man responded by wrapping his boat in a vinyl sign bearing the president's last name.

Hinton-Gerland said the flotilla was,"a great way to get out and social distance and support a president in our country on Flag Day and on his birthday."

I love telling stories about my home state. And I hope they will help you in some way and maybe even lift your spirits.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.