4Fs event brings community together for celebration

Spectators look on as flotillas float under the Highway 41 bridge across the Beaverhead into Twin Bridges on Saturday during the annual Floating Flotillas and Fish Fantasies celebration. Ben Coulter / The Madisonian.

TWIN BRIDGES – More than 100 community members from around Twin Bridges and beyond lined the banks of the Beaverhead River on Saturday for the 2012 Floating Flotillas and Fish Fantasies, an alumni and community celebration highlighted by a floating parade.

While last year’s floating parade was cancelled due to high water, this year conditions could not have been more perfect as the parade floats slowly drifted down the river one-by-one while emcee Verta Dorseth called out their parade information. While Dorseth said the display has varied over the years, this year’s showing did not disappoint.

“I honestly think my favorite part of this is that it’s a unique parade that not every community can host,” she said. “We have the river so close that we’re able to bring a different kind of idea to a parade.”

A full spectrum of entries floated under the Highway 41 Bridge coming into town this year, with some seaworthy craft ambling idly down the water while others thrashed about violently, tipping back and forth as its passengers simply struggled to stay on board. Some floaters put on a show splashing about for the spectators while still other parade participants literally swam after what was left of their float as it drifted downstream.

“We had some great floats this year,” Dorseth said. “You went from a pirate ship to the Hatfields and McCoys to Joy Day dressed as a duck.”

The $500 first prize for the best float in the parade, known as the “Rusty Bucket,” went to the Lost Cabin Bar this year, while second place went to Day/Holbrook Seed Potatoes and third to Potter Construction / Turney Trucking.

In the duck race fundraiser event for the Twin Bridges Historical Association, first, second and third place winners were Faye Kneeland, Marcia Gibson and Cindy Crismore. The scavenger hunt was won by Mara Johnson, Carlie Amos and Audrey George. Second place went to Kayden Staples, Bill Yeager, JD Mehloff and Ben Corrigan with Beth Wrzesinski, Francesca Pollorena and Andrianna Pollorena taking third.

Overall, this year’s event proved to be a successful community celebration.

Joy Day of Twin Bridges floats down the Beaverhead River on the Twin Bridges Historical Association float Saturday during the Floating Flotillas and Fish Fantasies parade. Ben Coulter / The Madisonian.

“The last few years we’ve been able to pull in a lot of community involvement with different organizations,” said Dorseth. “That kind of generosity is such a plus in a small town when most people are struggling to try to keep things together and keep their businesses going.”

While Dorseth hopes to see even more participation in the future, she couldn’t complain about the variety of floats in this year’s parade.

“I wish we had 30 floats on the river, but 15 is not bad, so I’m to be happy with that.”

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