'Let's Go, Brandon' boat wins - and then loses - holiday boat parade contest

Some of the judges stood by their votes, while the parade's social media said they regretted the incident.

Updated: December 8, 2021 - 8:01pm

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A boat with "Let's go, Brandon" decor won a lighted boat parade contest Saturday in Yorktown, Va, only to be disqualified hours later.

The non-profit parade sponsor, the Yorktown Foundation, disqualified the vessel and retracted its "Best in Show" award hours after the event, citing the boat's "overt political message," the Virginian-Pilot reported.

The bright 50-foot boat featured American flags, a Christmas Tree and a sign with "FJB" and "Let's go Brandon" written in lights. 

"Let's go, Brandon" is a euphemism that rose to fame in September after an NBC reporter incorrectly described a NASCAR stadium chant of  "F*** Joe Biden" as "Let's go, Brandon."

Some at the parade began cheering with the boat, while others were not so enthused.

Walt Akers, Yorktown Foundation board member, said, "We profoundly apologize for what happened, and we deeply regret that this happened at all… we’re going to take actions to make sure it doesn't happen in the future."

The Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade on Wednesday posted on Facebook, "an incident occurred that we regret." They described the boat as "an overt political statement that was not in keeping with the intended spirit of the holiday season."

Parade judge Chad Green defended his decision to vote for the boat. “I did my job, I walked away, and then suddenly there’s all kinds of controversy,” he said. “But I feel that my judging was fair and open and honest.”

Another judge, Sheriff J.D. Diggs, also stood by his vote for the political vessel. "If there had been a boat out there with some kind of content that I personally didn’t like, do I penalize that person because they were exercising their free speech, and I just didn’t like it? The answer is no,” Diggs said. 

One unnamed judge apparently voted for the boat without realizing what the phrase meant.

The phrase has been promoted across the nation. A Florida man decorated the side of his house with three-story-tall "Let's Go Brandon" banners. Firearms manufacturers are selling gun parts with the phrase. A rap of the euphemism made it to the top of iTunes charts in October.

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