1st Annual Venetian Night – A HUGE Success!

  |   Marina

You couldn’t have asked for a better night for Heritage Harbor Ottawa’s 1st Annual Venetian Night parade.  The ten boats from our 32-acre marina were decked out with lights, music, dancers in grass skirts, and even a dog dressed up as Santa Claus. 

This year’s event drew visitors from throughout the State of Illinois.  Many were in the area visiting Starved Rock State Park, while others heard about Venetian Night from friends in Ottawa and knew that they would be in for a real treat…that’s what Heritage Harbor is all about.

With hundreds of guests enjoying the beautiful sunset on the banks of the Illinois River, Ventian Night got off to a patriotic start with the singing of the National Anthem at 8:45 with the first boat passing the judge’s stand a few minutes later.  With Masters Of Ceremony Mark Lippert and Jeanette Walter announcing the contestants as they pulled into viewing range of the crowd, the captains showed off their boat and crew. 

The judging panel consited of Ottawa’s Mayor Bob Eschbach, Boyd Palmer, Executive Director of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, and Harry and Ann Hultgren, Heritage Harbor Ottawa residents.  When all of the tallies were counted, the winners and their themes were:

1st Place

  • Captains: Bob & First Mate Danielle Detten
  • Theme:  Christmas in July


2nd Place

  • Captains: Arnie and First Mate Cathy May
  • Theme: You’re not a Captain ’til you hit something!


3rd Place

  • Captains: Joe & First Mate Patti Baller
  • Theme: Ghost Pirate Ship


Pictures from the night’s festivities: