Every Sunday morning at 10:00am between Memorial Day and Labor Day on Lake Wawasee, the roar of old engines can be heard as a parade of classic wooden boats makes its way around the lake. The Thunder Run showcases the best of what Indiana Resorts have to offer and it begins at Conklin Bay just outside the back door of The Oakwood Resort.

Wooden Boat 2016

The idea of the Thunder Run first came about during a discussion between Bill Coon and Jeff Guyas, the owner of Wawasee Slip. The parade of approximately 20 boats is one lap counter-clockwise around Lake Wawasee. Every week a different boat leads the parade and the rest of the boats travel single file behind.

Coon and Guyas organize the parade with the help of Luke Knecht. Luke’s wife, Jeanne, also helps out by photographing the parade each week and running the Facebook page, Wawasee Wooden Boats.

Most of the boats in the parade each week are Chris Crafts. Wawasee Slip was first founded in 1922 and was the third top Chris Craft dealer in the nation. This large dealer made Wawasee a hot spot for Chris Craft boats, many of which still exist on the lake today. The oldest boat that has run in the parade so far is from 1938.

Wooden Boat Flag

For those wishing to watch the parade the best spots to catch a glimpse of the boats are at the end of a pier on Lake Wawasee or at Indiana Resorts premier hotel and conference center, Oakwood Resort.

Also, stay tuned for news and updates on the Wooden Boat Show at Oakwood Resort on Saturday, June 24, 2017!