Boy Scouts rebuild stolen float in time for Fountain City parade

(WBIR-Knoxville) A Boy Scout troop didn't let a thief rain on their parade after their float was stolen earlier this week.

On Thursday morning, Dave Ringley, Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 13, woke up to find the float missing. A thief hauled it off from his front yard in North Knoxville, where he was storing it until Saturday's Fountain City Christmas Parade.

The 12 members met before the parade to rebuild the float.

"We've gotten the same type of trailer. We had figured out to use straps instead of rope, we strapped it up, we put a brand new tarp on it, and got the canoe back up on it. And got some new lights stringed out on it and got the flags hanging up," described Cole Chagnon, who has been a scout for eight years.

A neighbor found the red canoe, a signature piece of the float, about a mile from Ringley's house in the same area. The thief dumped it before hitting the main road.

The trailer was still missing, but Ice Chalet helped the troop.

""The Ice Chalet called me immediately after hearing about it and said 'hey, we've got this big trailer, let us help you'," said Ringley. ""Everybody has been real happy and being positive and they'they've learned that people in Knoxville are real nice people."

Chagnon said the boys weren't too bothered by having to start from scratch.

"We had thought it out and done it right instead of waiting until the last minute like most boys would do," said Chagnon. "But we are back to square-one."

The troop said the float was inspired by a special Boy Scouts outing.

"We had just done a canoe trip earlier this fall, so that was still on our minds of how fun it was and we wanted to shake it up from the normal tent thing that most scouts would do for a parade," said Chagnon.

The float featured two scouts sitting in the canoe, rowing, and other boys fishing. It was hauled by a camo-covered pickup truck down Broadway Avenue.

"That was my favorite float," said one spectator. "That was perfect."

Ringley said if original trailer isn't recovered they will have to find a way to replace it. The Fountain City Baseball Park lent the troop the trailer, worth $2,000.

""We'll do some fundraising and hopefully we'll get some contributions to help us pay for that so we'll see what happens."


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