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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4 years ago

Lake Cane Float Parade set for May 26

Strong swimmers are invited to the Lake Cane Float Parade at Lucky’s Lake Swim this weekend.
by: Eric Gutierrez Former Staff Writer

Swimmers: Grab your pool floats and head down to Lucky’s Lake Swim for the Lake Cane Float Parade on Saturday, May 26.

Sponsored by the Lake Cane Restoration Society, the event takes place from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Lucky’s Lake Swim, 6645 Lake Cane Drive, Orlando. The event is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Lake Cane Restoration Society.

Attendees will be treated to breakfast and have a chance to win a variety of prizes. Parade participants must take their own floats and life jackets. Additionally, participation in the parade is only recommended to strong swimmers who can swim 1,000 meters.

The parade is held to raise awareness of how residents can protect the water quality of Lake Cane and to raise money for the Lake Cane Restoration Society. The event also honors the 29th anniversary of Lucky’s Lake Swim.

“The preservation of the lake is essential not just for current swimmers but for maintaining property values,” Lake Cane Restoration Society Executive Director Jay Madigan said in a prepared statement. “Everyone wants to live near a healthy lake. No one wants algae bloom in their backyard.”

Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer, of Lucky’s Lake Swim, said the Float Parade is a fun way to help raise money to preserve Lake Cane.

“Nobody here cares whether you’re rich, whether you’re poor, they don’t care what the color of your skin is, they don’t care what your religion is ... everybody gets along here. — Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer

“Last year was the first time we did it,” Meisenheimer said. “It was a big success. It raised a lot of donations for the (Lake Cane) Restoration Society, and everybody had a good time. We have a little breakfast for everybody. And you don’t have to (swim). People are welcome to just come and bring their kids and look at the floats and all that stuff. It’s just a fun thing to do.”

Meisenheimer said floats of all shapes and sizes are welcome and encourages decorating them.

“There’s all kinds of weird floats out there,” Meisenheimer said. “You can bring your own float and you can design your own float. … As long as it’s not going to be bad for the lake.”

A queen will be crowned for the first time at this year’s float parade. Additionally, swimmers will be allowed to tow people on the floats for the first time this year as long as the float rider wears a life jacket, Meisenheimer said.

“We’ll be selecting a Lucky’s Lake Swim Pool Toy Float Parade Queen this year,” Meisenheimer said. “Last year, we didn’t let anybody pull anybody (on the floats) because it was the first time we did it. I wasn’t sure of the logistics. This year … I feel comfortable (doing it) as long as the kids or spouses (riding the float) have life vests on.”

Meisenheimer said the parade is one of many events that have spun off from his usual lake swim held six days a week. He added he enjoys opening up his home to other swimmers in the community.

“This is probably the most visited home in Orange County,” Meisenheimer said. “It’s all good for the community, and we enjoy doing it. Everybody has a good time. I’ve always said, if the world was like this lake swim — because nobody here cares whether you’re rich, whether you’re poor, they don’t care what the color of your skin is, they don’t care what your religion is — all you have to do is just come out and enjoy swimming and everybody gets along here. Wouldn’t it be great if the whole world was that way? That’s what makes this place neat.”

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Eric Gutierrez was a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and Southwest Orange Observer....

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