Story & photos by Karen Fucito
For the sixth year in a row the weather for the annual Aquapalooza on Lake Hopatcong was picture perfect. About 1100 people including adults and children, occupying about 200 boats, made their way to the water near the Mason Street Pub to enjoy an afternoon of food, drink, music and prizes.
Boats of all sizes and makes form long lines in the water just off Mason Street Pub.
The event, which takes place nation-wide, is sponsored by Sea Ray and hosted by Marine Max, an 80-slip marina located on Esponong Road in Jefferson. There are three Aquapalooza events held in New Jersey. Marine Max contracts the Mason Street Pub to provide a buffet-style barbeque lunch for the mostly pre-registered guests.
Boaters come ashore to enjoy lunch on the porch of the Mason Street Pub.
“Every year it grows exponentially, getting bigger and bigger each year,” said Greta Andrews, event and marketing coordinator for Marine Max. This is Andrews fourth year as the Lake Hopatcong event coordinator. She marvels at their good luck with the weather.
This group paddled around visiting other boaters.
“We’ve always been really lucky with the weather,” she said. “A few times the day before the event has been miserable but then the day of is beautiful.”
According to Andrews, Aquapalooza is very well publicized and only about 20 or so people wait until event day to register. But all the boats in the water near Mason Street Pub do not have to register. Anyone can tie-up and enjoy the afternoon.
“We’ve been coming every single year,” said life-long Lake Hopatcong resident Brenda Fisch. “I always tell people about it.
It’s just another fun event to enjoy on the lake.” Fisch attended the event with her husband, Mark, her sister and family friends.
“D.J. O” (Christopher O’Bando) provided the music, setting up on a barge donated by AAA Dock and Dredge from Jefferson. For four hours he played mostly dance music, sometimes prompting the crowd to participate in games for give-aways. He also awarded four lucky ticket holders with door prizes from The MegaHitch Lock company and Boat Fun Sports. The winners floated away with either a hitch lock or an attachable basketball hoop.
Brenda Fisch sporting festive sunglasses
“D.J. O” (Christopher O’Bando) at the turntables.
Joe Scerbo, 13, from East Hanover, grooves to the music while balancing on a big float.
Boaters chill in the water using all sorts of floatable devices.
Reps from Corona Light threw free t-shirts to boaters.
Karen Galipo from Randolph enjoying the water.
An afternoon of sun, drink and water on Lake Hopatcong.
These two ladies were really feeling the music, dancing on the deck of their boat.
This family gets the attention of another boat who came to tie up with them.