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Water balloons & elaborate boats take over False River for Fourth of July

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NEW ROADS - Fourth of July on the False River means one thing and one thing only: water balloon fights.

The main draw is the annual boat parade featuring dozens of boats decorated in the most patriotic way possible.

"First we go to the dollar tree, we call each one of our friends and say I got $10 worth top me, and she comes up with 20 and then we just get out here and sweat our butts off," said a boat rider.

But the real fun starts when the balloons get launched!

"We bought about 3,000 water balloons this year," another boat rider said.

No one knows when the first water balloon was thrown, but it's become false river canon ever since.

"At some point in time in the early days, somebody started throwing water balloons at each other, and that just became a huge tradition in the parade," Brandon Barker said.

But if you're not one to want to get wet, you can always sit back, hope you don't become a target and watch the brightly decorated boats float by.

"With this string, normally we go crabbing with it. But today we're tying our famous banner," one boater said.

This year, the boats were supposed to follow a theme near and dear to residents' hearts.

"The theme this year is hats off to False River and 'make False River great again,' because we're doing a lot of dredging on this river. This used to be one of the number one bass fishing spots, and we're trying to revitalize False River to bring it back to that," Mayor Cornell Dukes said.

This year's winners:

BEST DECORATED BOAT: Keep Our River Clean

MOST PATRIOTIC BOAT: Statue of Liberty Girls

BEST DECORATED PARTY BARGE: Bulkhead Lives Matter

MOST PATRIOTIC PARTY BARGE: 2020 Red Hat

MAYOR'S TROPHY: Bulkhead Lives Matter

FOUNDER'S TROPHY: Dean Hotard Boat

SHOULDA GOTTA TROPHY: Hats off to America

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