Watch the Min-Aqua Bats perform and it'll look like any other year.
"Everyone wants to do their regular Fourth of July schedule, and that includes coming to the ski show and having a lot of fun," said Min-Aqua Bats skier Janos Smithing.
The 70th anniversary of the world-famous water ski troupe is anything but regular, with COVID-19 impacting everything from attendance to sponsorships.
"We have noticed a little bit of a decrease in donations," said show director Isabelle Boyer.
Those problems often fall on the shoulders of young people like Boyer, a rising senior at Lakeland Union High School.
"This generation of Min-Aqua Bats is a lot younger than it usually is, but the club is usually run by kids, completely," Boyer said.
Skier Chandler Curtis is another one of those kids; just 16 years old.
"A lot of ski shows have a lot of older people running their shows and it's pretty impressive that teenagers and people in their twenties can put on a show like this," Curtis said.
Not even a pandemic can keep this show from going on.
"This is the place to spend your summers," Smithing said.
The Min-Aqua Bats have their big Fourth of July show Saturday night at 7 p.m.
They ski every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday during the summer.
Sitting or standing at least six feet away from other fans is recommended.
|Story By: Andrew Goldstein