RegattaFest Ready to Make Waves on the Ohio River This Weekend
NEW MARTINSVILLE — Since the beginning, back in 1938, New Martinsville has been a well-known powerboat racing mecca for this part of the country.
All of the action will take place this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29. It’s fast, free family fun for everyone in the Upper Ohio Valley region.
Edition 8 of RegattaFest continues the 81-year tradition thanks to a group of community-spirited individuals dedicated to not only retaining a treasured part of the area’s history but also including plenty of additional activities, keeping the popular end-of-summer festival fresh and innovative.
The powerboats continue to be the centerpiece of the festival with the heart-pounding, adrenaline-pushing excitement of sanctioned APBA racing. Fast water and a superior venue bring teams to RegattaFest from all over the United States, each one eager to claim a right to the winner’s circle, while adding to their overall national and international points standings.
In addition to the featured powerboat racing, there will be an array of other activities, including activities that are new this year.
For those who want a first-hand experience of what it’s like to be at the helm of a powerboat, there will be a “Give It a Go” powerboat driving school from 2-5 p.m. today, Friday, Sept. 27. It is a ground-level experience where you learn the basics of racing, the general rules, safety considerations and principles of working as part of a two-person team. You must be at least 18 years old and interested in becoming a driver. There is no pre-registration. Anyone interested in the driving school can come down to the old ferry landing on Main Street in New Martinsville (between the Wetzel County Court House and WesBanco) between 2-5 p.m. today.
Saturday starts at 9 a.m. with the Cruisers’ Unlimited Classic Car Show. The powerboats will begin their first test sessions from 10 a.m. to noon, and the vendors will be ready and open for business. Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday and continues until 4 p.m.
Kids can find plenty to do in the Kid Zone, a place full of inflatable games and activities each day from noon to 4 p.m., and DJ Carmen Harman will be on hand both days to entertain with music during the natural breaks in the racing action. The car show returns on Saturday, presented by Cruisers Unlimited. New this year are the amateur kayak/paddleboard races on Sunday, Color Me Fast program for kids along with autograph sessions after the championship finals with free autograph poster for the first 100 kids on Sunday.
Test your skills at cornhole by entering the double-elimination tournament. RegattaFest also has developed a special place for pets — Pause for Paws — with fresh water and treats for your furry companions.
There will be a driver/team chapel service on Sunday morning with former NASCAR chaplain Ron Pegram at 9:30 a.m. at the Square on Main Street downtown.
It all happens this weekend in downtown New Martinsville at the Fireman’s Park on the banks of the Ohio River.
For more information, visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/dayattheracesinnewmartinsville.