On this first day of summer, we take a summer boat ride in Cedar Rapids' Ellis Boat Harbor decades ago.

My parents were in town to celebrate Father's Day and as I always do when they visit, I took them on a tour of the city. My tours consist of what's new since the last time they were here. Yesterday, I took them to Green Square, NewBo, the site where planners hope to build the new pedestrian bridge and the future home of the Linn County Freedom Rock.

We also passed over the Cedar River on the Edgewood Road bridge on our trip around Cedar Rapids. Below the bridge, we saw three boats celebrating Father's Day on the water. That got me thinking about Ellis Boat Harbor and later in the day I stumbled upon this video.

The Ellis Boat Harbor wouldn't officially become a "thing" until 1962, according to The Gazette, but it was enjoyed for years before.

Ice jams and floods have threatened it, with the flood of 2008 wiping out nearly half the houseboats, but Ellis Boat Harbor lives on. In just a few short weeks, they'll welcome thousands to the banks of the Cedar River in Ellis Park for the annual Cedar Boat Club fireworks display. It's a 40+ year tradition on July 3... and is another of the things we should cherish that make Cedar Rapids so unique.

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