Boat cruise fosters community spirit – and fun (photos)

Ken Lang sharing a laugh on the top deck Photo by Steve Floyd
Overcast skies and a forecast of rain showers didn’t deter the roughly 300 people who packed the Fourth Annual Legacy Boat Cruise on Saturday, August 4. Attendees who ventured out were rewarded with a rainless, fun-filled evening, and even a bit of sun, as they donned their best sailing attire to party down the St. Croix River.

The four-hour affair was sponsored by the Spokesman-Recorder, the nonprofit arm of the MN Spokesman-Recorder, as well as Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “The Legacy Boat Cruise is a worthy cause,” said Dr. Adrienne Matthews of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “Not only does it support the oldest Black newspaper in the city, it supports education as well [as] the scholarship fund. It is incumbent upon us to support this mission.”

Adrienne Matthews of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Olivia Crutchfield/MSR News
Multi-instrumentalist José James provided the entertainment, keeping the lounge on the first floor mellow with saxophone and flute-led jazz tunes.

Attendees shopped and enjoyed bingo and prizes on the second floor, while Walter “Q Bear” Banks and Lazy T kept things lively with an endless supply of old-school R&B on the third floor. DJ Fujun rounded out the four-level affair with choice cuts of dancehall and reggae on the top deck.

Also on hand was comedian Shed G, who brought the laughs. One of his many memorable moments was when he shared his struggles with being single. “I’m 44 years old, and every time I go to church, it never fails – there’s always somebody older trying to hook me up with their auntie, daughter or cousin. I get tired, man, I get tired!”

The cruise’s First Annual Sailing Attire Contest topped off the evening, as the two winners paraded their nautical-inspired outfits to the theme song of the classic TV show Gilligan’s Island.

A portion of the proceeds for the annual boat cruise go to the Cecil E. Newman Scholarship Fund.

Olivia Crutchfield/MSR News
Ivan B. Phifer contributed to this story.

Below, arrow through for more photos highlights by Olivia Crutchfield and Steve Floyd.