Lady of the Lake: Boat People

You gotta love "Boat People."

I'm referring, first, to the motorboat kind who have tan skin, sun-kissed hair, and a big smile before they burst into laughter about anything. Life to them is a "boat load of fun."

I think you have to pass the "I just want to have fun" quiz when you purchase a motor boat. Ask the people at SeaRay of Knoxville or the folks at American Boat Center if they think this way also. I was told at a lake property owner's association meeting that boat people, as they refer to themselves, are sociable with other boat people and love an excuse to gather up and party. Fort Loudoun Lake Association gave them just this opportunity to "Party with a Purpose" on a recent Saturday evening at Calhoun's at the Fort Loudon Dam. A ticket got you food, beverages, and music by Jay Eric Band and a chance to bid on some great items for boats and water play for the approaching summer season.

There is no better formula than happy people, on the water, coming together for a good reason. And that reason was the continual trash and debris removal, advocacy, monitoring of water quality and pollution prevention that the Fort Loudoun Lake Association is committed to every day.

There is another kind of boat people who prefer paddling over motoring. They got a chance to stretch their winter arms and legs at Outdoor KnoxFest with Legacy Parks and Outdoor Knoxville. Several individual and group paddle trials on paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks along with all the other land activities, proves to us that Knoxville really is an outdoor city.

Boat people are conscientious and know how to provide and enjoy a good time. But you have to have water that is clean, navigable, and worthy of swimming for the formula to work. We here in Knoxville and the surrounding communities are blessed with a multitude of waterway systems including the Holston and French Broad, which form the Head of the Tennessee River, Tellico, Norris, and Douglas lakes. These lakes are a part of the 3 percent of available drinkable water represented in the overall fresh water available on our earth.

Whether you're a boat person or not, Knoxville provides a beautiful landscape for enjoyment. So, get out of your house, your office, or your car and take a walk. Grab a picnic and venture down to the shores of our beautiful waterfront and enjoy some of Knoxville's greatest assets.

Angela Howard is the executive director of the Fort Loudoun Lake Association. Visit for more info.