For Paul Revere’s Ride it was “One if by land, two if by sea.”
Organizers say there could be at least 300 by land and 1,500 by sea at a Sept. 26 Trump rally that starts in Brunswick.
Glenn Bufkin, one of the people behind the TrumPalooza boat flotilla and motorcycle rally, says he doesn’t know what to expect beyond huge given the early response.
The TrumPalooza “United We Stand on Land and Sea, Wheels and Keels Rally’’ will raise its anchors and kickstands at 10 a.m. at Liberty Park at the Sidney Lanier Bridge. The boats will sail east from the harbor side of the bridge while the motorcycles – clubs and individuals riders – will cross the Sidney Lanier at the same time led by a big Trump campaign bus, said Bufkin and Dana Haza, who is supporting Trump’s re-election.
Both Haza and Bufkin said there is a lot at stake in the election and the rally is intended to get people motivated to, as Haza said, “Turn the coast red for Trump.”
“This is an election of validation,’’ she said. “This is an event that empowers and emboldens.”
Keeping Trump in the White House will reverse a decades-long slide that began with the removal of prayer from schools, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion and other actions contrary to the good of the nation, Bufkin said.
“People are concerned. People are nervous. They don’t like what they’re seeing on TV, and they want to do something,’’ he said.
He is organizing the flotilla portion of the event along with Kiera Byrd and expects it to last about two hours.
This will not be the first time Trump supporters have taken to the water. A Trump Law and Order boat Parade on the Jersey shore had about 2,000 watercraft on Sept. 5 and another near Austin, Tex, had 2,500 boats, some of which sank after big waves swamped them.
Haza and Bufkin both said they expect the boats and motorcycles to be decked out with flags and other patriotic and pro-Trump signs.
“I think the flotilla provides a way for people to come together and say, ‘Yes, we believe in the president,’’’ Haza said.
After the boats and motorcycles leave the bridge, they will head the same way initially toward Jekyll Island where the motorcycles will make a loop around the north end before returning to the park, Haza said. Led by Glynn County Commission candidate Cap Fendig, the flotilla will get as close to Jekyll Island as it can at low tide, make a couple of loops around the sound passing by the St. Simons pier before sailing back to the park, Bufkin said.
Supporters will cheer them along the travel route and other points, including the St. Simons pier.
After the boats pass by the pier, they will head back toward Brunswick and Bufkin said he hopes some return to the park, where the rally will run from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
There will be a festival atmosphere there with live music, food trucks and attractions for children, including face-painting and a bounce house. Haza said there will also be a voter registration drive.
There will be other flotillas the same day in Savannah and St. Marys, Haza said.
Although the coronavirus seems to be abating, health and government officials are still discouraging large gatherings. Asked if he expected criticism because of the rally, Bufkin said, “I hope so,’’ but that it should be safe for those who come.
“It’s an outdoor event, and we’re not breaking any laws,” he said.
Like others, he compares the political landscape to a battleground.
“I think the war against America started 60 years ago,’’ he said. “The war to take it back started four years ago.”