— Steve’s Marketplace —
Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace.
They showed up here on Labor Day weekend by land, sea, and air. Each to promote the re-election of President Donald Trump.
Celebratory pro-Trump signs and flags and banners decorated the land at Sadler Road and South Eighth Street in Fernandina Beach on Saturday morning. About 100 enthusiastic residents came out for several hours for a Trump rally organized by a local conservative group.
Later in the weekend, Trump supporters arrived in downtown by sea. Nearly 100 boats paraded from the north end boat ramp past downtown Monday, greeted by welcoming onlookers. Horns blew. American flags and Trump banners flapped in the breeze. People excitedly waved.
Not to be outdone, a plane toting a pro-Trump banner flew along the Amelia Island beaches on Saturday. The plane flew for an hour, carrying an airborne sign: “Trump 2020: The Best Is Yet To Come.” The flyovers will continue each Saturday through Oct. 31 (weather permitting).
The various activities were not coordinated by a single group, although they carried a singular conservative message. To get Trump re-elected. They are being funded by local Trump supporters.
The Trump boat parade here was coordinated by various volunteers. Similar parades and flotillas have been held around Florida and the southeastern U.S. in lakes, bays, and other waterways.
Also this past weekend, marinas from Naples to Ft. Myers to Sarasota joined forces to create a united Trump flotilla. According to reports, as many as 11,000 boats took part in a flotilla estimated to be several miles long.
Several weeks ago, another Trump parade in the Tampa area made a run at breaking the world record for having the most boats. The parade reportedly had an estimated 2,000 boats participating.
Some of the area events will be repeated between now and the election on Nov. 3, if not all of them. As a home base for the pro-Trump activities, an office has been opened at 5422 First Coast Highway (near Julia Street). The re-election office carries Trump signs, hats, flags, bumper stickers, etc. The office is open on weekdays and Saturdays.
Other boat parades will undoubtedly take place, here and elsewhere. In addition, more Trump rallies are planned for the South Eighth Street/Sadler Road intersection. The next one is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 19.
The initial rally Saturday had a unique twist. Mary Aiello, a professional opera singer and Fernandina Beach resident, sang the “Star Spangled Banner” to kick off the patriotic event. Ironically, Aiello was to perform at the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville (which was instead relocated).
If it sounds like a bunch of pro-Trump activities, that’s because it is. After all, North Florida is a conservative area. And pro-Trump events are probably expected. We’ll see more of them – by land, sea, air.
Steve Nicklas is a financial advisor for a major brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns appear regularly in several newspapers in North Florida and South Georgia, and on his website: www.SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has also published a book, “All About Money,” consisting of his favorite columns over the past 20 years. The book is available at local stores and on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at [email protected].)