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Regatta announces new events to replace pageants
, Courier Sportswriter
Thursday, May 08, 2014 11:00 AM
Elizabeth Hayley Franklin, center, was crowned the 2013 Miss Madison Regatta with Ellen Ann Hawk, left, named first runner-up and Macy Jo Taylor named second runner-up at the pageant at Madison Consolidated High School. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchiefirstname.lastname@example.org)
This year's Madison Regatta Festival will have three new events and a fourth still in the works.
Madison Regatta Festival chairwoman Kim Washer detailed the new schedule during the monthly general membership meeting.
The new events are needed because the Regatta has decided not to stage the Little Miss, Miss Preteen, Miss Teen or Miss Madison Regatta scholarship pageants this season, instead allowing those winners from a year ago to reign for another year.
On Saturday, June 28, there will be a beach wrestling tournament, an event that made its debut last year. Madison High School varsity wrestling coach Tyson Skinner is in charge of the event, which drew high school wrestlers from three states last year.
The first new event will be a Cutie Pie contest to be held Sunday, June 29, at Bicentennial Park. The event will be open to babies through 24 months and will begin at 2 p.m.
A Rubber Duck Regatta will take the place of the usual Miss Madison Regatta pageant on Monday, June 30. The event, which will be held at the Crystal Beach pool starting at 6:15 p.m., is co-sponsored by the Madison Parks Department. The cost is $5 per duck with a top prize of $500 being awarded. All proceeds will benefit senior citizens and youth sports programs.
The final new event will be Floats on Display on Thursday, July 3, where all floats for the Madison Regatta Parade will be lined up at a yet to be determined location. The public will be invited to look over the floats and vote on their favorite, which will be announced at the parade on July 4.
The Regatta is still working on a possible golf tournament to be held at Belterra Resort on July 4, but that has not been finalized.
The rest of the schedule remains the same as in year's past with the RKO Waterball Fight on Tuesday, July 1, the WORX/WXGO Street Dance on Wednesday, July 2, Music on the River on Thursday, July 3, the annual Parade on Friday, July 4, the Madison Courier Firecracker 10K Race/Walk on Saturday, July 5 and the Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday, July 5.
The annual radio-controlled hydroplane race, which has been run the week before the Regatta in the past, will now be on July 4 on Krueger Lake at the former Jefferson Proving Grounds.
"We've got a jam-packed schedule right now, especially on Friday," Washer said. "Hopefully, this will be a very good festival and everybody will enjoy it."
In addition to the festival changes, the Regatta has tweaked its weekend race schedule. Rather than have the boats on display on Vaughn Drive on July 4, they will be on display the day before. On Friday, the pits will be opened to allow fans closer access to the teams.
The change was made after a request from H1 Unlimited owners who were worried about having enough time to set up the boats on Friday.
"We want to do everything we can to accommodate the owners," Madison Regatta President Tim Torrance said. "We still think that what we will do will be very fan-friendly."
Torrance said that the Regatta is expecting nine Unlimiteds, but that number may not include the Centurion Racing Team which announced on Wednesday that it was going to run the entire circuit.
Torrance also said that the vintage Miss U.S. will run exhibition laps and several J-Stock hydros will be on hand for exhibition runs.
"We think the action on the water will be as good as we've seen it in some time," Torrance said.
In other business:
A meeting for all groups that ran admission gates last year will be held on June 24 at the Regatta office on Vaughn Drive starting at 5 p.m.
Admission wristbands are now on sale at www.madisonregatta.com. Wristbands should arrive in two weeks.
Hospitality tents are currently on sale. Several spots, ranging from 20x20 to 20x40, are still available with costs starting at $1,000. Contact the Regatta through its website for more information.
The Madison Regatta office will be open on a limited scale starting Monday, May 12. The office will be open from 1-3 p.m. each day and then all day starting June 1.
Elections for the 2015 race were held with most of the officers retaining their current positions. The biggest change was the election of current media chairman Joe Hertz as vice-president, meaning he will serve as president of the 2016 race. Current vice-president Jeff Chandler will be the president of the 2015 race.
Other officers are: Carolyn Fischer, secretary; Pat Brooks, treasurer; Jacob Lowry, race chairman; Karen Jones, assistant race chairman; Kim Washer, festival chairman; Nate Davis, Buddy Gaw, Harold Perry and Mike Stucker, board of directors.
The Regatta will take applications for event staff starting June 2.
Madison Regatta fans once again can get a 15 percent discount on tickets to the NASCAR Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway. To get the discount, visit www.KentuckySpeedway.com/tickets and us the code: "Victory."
The next general membership meeting will be June 4 at the VFW Post 1969 at 7 p.m. Membership meetings will be held weekly from that date until the race.
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