Thousands of people stood along the Shenago River in Sharon Friday night to catch a glimpse of some very unique ships.
Small man-made vessels have been sailing down the river for more than 30 years as part of the annual Small Ships Revue.
One of the participants was Chuck Jacobs, who created a birthday cake-themed ship to celebrate his 50th birthday. He sailed along the river with his family.
“I made most of the ship myself, had some help. And my sisters and my neices made the shirts and it was my mother’s idea, so she gets credit,” Jacobs said.
This was his fifth time competing in the annual Small Ships Revue. Each team has their own take on what a makes a successful sail, and Jacobs has some tricks thanks to a few years of experience.
“It’s got to be light and it’s got to be able to withstand the impact of water ballons being thrown at you,” Jacobs said.
Making a ship that can float is the first goal. Making it all the way down the river without getting hit is another one.
There were plenty of water balloons to go around, and thousands of families lined the banks of the river, with some throwing balloons at the participants. Some ships even fought back, launching balloons at the crowd.
The man-made boat regatta is now in its 33rd year, bringing amateur ship builders from across the Valley to compete for more than $5,000 in cash prizes.
“We’re all here for the floats. We go to the Lube, wait for the fireworks to go off. It’s a great night. It’s a great way to get your family together,” said spectator Leigha Smith.
Jacobs said this was a birthday he will never forget.
“The family does this every year and whoever wants to ride. It’s just a fun day,” he said.
More than a dozen ships sailed in this year’s event.