The annual lighted boat parade in Yorktown, Virginia ended in controversy this year after the winning boat was stripped of its trophy because of an anti-Joe Biden message. Captain Bill Berger won best in show for his “Let’s Go Brandon” themed boat.
“Let’s Go Brandon” and “FJB,” were lit up on the boat. Berger said “FJB” meant “falling Joe Biden” not F**k Joe Biden. “My boat was best in show to the crowd,” said Berger. “We had the letters separated and meaning falling Joe Biden, and we had him falling down a ladder,” Berger added.
“They had the awards ceremony, and they presented me winning the best in show and 48 hours later I got the phone call I was disqualified. They said my boat was too political,” he said.
“Yes. They should not have been surprised. They had plenty of time to disqualify me,” he said.
Yorktown Foundation’s Walt Akers said:
“At some point as a foundation, we have not properly advised our lower groups on what the rules are as far as a nonprofit operation.
“If we allowed politics to interfere with events, we would also lose our nonprofit status, and all these organizations below us would be dissolved.
“Before we have any other event in Yorktown, we are going to make sure everyone understands we are government and by IRS laws that restricts us from having any political speech.
The Yorktown Foundation issued a statement that said:
“On December 4th, 2021, several members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors were made aware that a boat with an overt political message had participated in the Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade, and that the judges had awarded it first place.
“In discussions with the event organizers, they explained that they were equally perplexed that the boat had won and they took immediate corrective actions.
“The event organizers immediately notified the judges that the boat would be disqualified because its political statements were at odds with the mission of the Foundation, and the second-place boat would be advanced to the winning position.
“Further, the event organizers agreed to take steps in the coming year to review all entries in advance and
ensure that they do not detract from the community spirit that this event is designed to foster.
“The members of the Yorktown Foundation wish to reiterate that our mission continues to be to unify our community through events and activities that showcase everything that is wonderful about Yorktown, York County and our citizens.
“While we recognize that political divisiveness is a factor in our daily discourse, we DO NOT want it to negatively impact anyone’s enjoyment of our community events.
“We regret that this incident occurred, and we will work to avoid such events in the future,” the statement said.
The captain said the committee knew about the theme and let him go with it, but where the problem lies is the Yorktown Foundation that oversees the groups running the parade cannot be involved in political speech as a 501c3 nonprofit.https://t.co/OXGJ28iSxF— WAVY TV 10 (@WAVY_News) December 8, 2021