For the first time in 35 years, the Delta Reflections Lighted Boat Parade will go dark.
Officials with the Stockton event claim this year’s water hyacinth has created dangerous conditions for boaters.
“I’m very, very disappointed,” Roger Kelly, a participant with the parade said.
Kelly’s stripped down version of what his boat would have looked like for the 35th Annual Delta Reflections Lighted Boat Parade leaves him feeling powerless.
“This would be my 12th year involved in the parade, and if I had my way I’ll be in it every year,” he told FOX40.
His boat is usually decked out in the frills and thrills of the holiday season, but that will not happen because of the water hyacinth.
The plant is very tough to break apart and, making it very dangerous for boaters to be on the water.
“So it’s quite a disaster or all of us to have to think about this,” Lynn Hahn, a coordinator for the Delta Reflections Lighted Boat Parade, said.
Hahn has been organizing the event for years. She says they’ve never had to cancel, ever.
She’s placing part of the blame on state officials,
“I’d like to hang Jerry Brown by his gonads and he the rest of the elected officials who are not doing their job obviously, as you can see,” Hahn said.
The Division of Boating and Waterways claims they’ve been spraying herbicide since March and will do so until Nov. 30. They also plan to remove the dead plants.
But organizers argued, more needs to be done.
“He (Governor Brown) puts people in office to do their jobs and they’re not doing their jobs,” Hahn said.
This Dec. 5, there will be no lit up boats in the water. Just decorations tucked away for next year and massive amounts of water hyacinth still floating by.
“I can’t get out of this shed. It’s not safe for me to get out,” Kelly said.
At least one part of the long standing event will happen, Hahn said, the $25 registration from each participant will go to the Women’s Center Youth and Family Services.