Hoping to build upon last year’s record crowds, co-chairs Theresa Fall and Deb Rauch are expecting some of the same creativity that resulted in boats such as the Watts family’s “Ghostbusters” creation of last year. “It really isn’t about who wins the race,” said Fall. “It’s ultimately about the creativity and getting the community together. It is the largest free event in New Paltz.”It is time again for the annual New Paltz Regatta on the Wallkill River, a day of homemade boats, family fun and most importantly, community. With registration this Sunday, May 4 starting at noon at Village Hall, this year’s event includes the annual parade, a rubber duck race benefiting Family of New Paltz, live music by DJ Bona-Q and food and children’s activities offered by the Woodcrest Community on the lawn of the Gilded Otter. The parade will start at 1 p.m., with the boat race commencing between 2 and 2:30 p.m.
Fall was quick to point out the help she receives between myriad sponsors and contributors. She mentioned the Teen Seen’s Jim Tinger, whose volunteers are responsible for a lot of setting up and breaking down and who also has an entry in each race. “We really couldn’t do it without Jim and everything his group does. They are fantastic.”
A dynamic new entry which captures the spirit of the event will come courtesy of Gardiner’s Holly Shader, a science teacher at Circleville Middle School in Pine Bush, who has attended the Regatta for “the last four or five years. I’ve always wanted to have a boat constructed by the students and this year we will finally do it.”
In combination with science teacher RJ Gabriel and technology teacher Dave Kellish, eleven students are creating a boat consisting predominantly of donated water bottles. “In mid-March, we took a poll of seventh graders to see how many would be interested. It was all of them,” Shader says, laughing. To narrow it down, the teachers set up a competition where participants were given a meter of duct tape, five coffee stirrers and a three-by-five index card. The most buoyant raft won the right to create this year’s entry. This involves the use of power tools such as a circular saw and good old-fashioned math. “For the actual buoyancy, the students calculated they would need between 500 and 600 half-liter bottles on the underside of the boat, with more bottles used as decoration on top.”
To fund the project, Shader has hauled nearly $50 worth of donated water bottles to New Paltz’s K&E Beverage.
Sponsors for this year’s Regatta are The Cheese Plate, In Good Taste Wine and Spirits, The Gilded Otter, Jar’d Wine Pub, Kosiner Brothers Hot Dogs, Dohnut, Mixture, P&G’s, Rodan Labs and the Woodcrest Community.
Registration forms are located at newpaltzregatta.com.