Hundreds show on and off the water for ‘MAGA’ boat parade

Updated: May. 24, 2020 at 9:35 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Hundreds of Trump supporters took to the Charleston harbor today for a MAGA boat parade while spectators packed the battery.

The event organized online had over 700 people signed up to attend and more than one thousand people interested.

The water was packed with participants and others out boating during the holiday weekend.

“We’ve got our friends coming in,” participant Michael Holcomb said. “There’s people we saw coming in from all over to watch this and view this. So it’s pretty awesome.”

The parade started around noon while dozens lined the battery to take pictures.

Frank Collins said he was astonished by the number of the crowd both on the battery and in the harbor.

“We just came out to see how big it was going to be and were overwhelmed, this is huge,” Collins said.

But not everyone was as excited to hear about the parade. Local activist William Hamilton voiced his concerns about the lack of social distancing in the midst of a pandemic.

“Well, my first thought is that it was remarkable that when Americans were dying at the rate of over 1,000 a day, and 40 million people are out of work that somebody thought it was appropriate to hold a big party,” Hamilton said.

This morning, spots at many local boat ramps also quickly filled up.

“I got here at 8:30 this morning in the entire parking lot was already full of boat trailers and they’re still steady rolling in,” local resident Betsy Logan said at the Wappoo boat landing.

During the parade, the Charleston and Mount Pleasant Police Departments, U.S. Coast Guard, as well as the Department of Natural Resources made patrols.

Officials with the Mount Pleasant police and the United States Coast Guard said the agency did not have any rescues from their harbor unit. Charleston police and US Coast guard did assist a participant whose boat was taking on water and lost power in the Harbor but did not respond to any rescues. DNR has not yet responded to requests.

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