to sponsor Madison Regatta
(April 2002) MADISON, Ind. With time quickly running
out to find a title sponsor for the 2002 race weekend, Madison Regatta
Inc. pulled off what just three weeks earlier seemed like the impossible.
Only this time, rather than support coming from a deep-pocketed casino
or national business chain, it came from right here at home.
Gray, Ann Centers,
Madisons own Marc Gray, owner of Cruisin Auto
car sales at 3713 Clifty Dr., and Anheuser-Busch, at the urging of legendary
Budweiser race boat owner Bernie Little, together agreed to provide
enough money for Regatta officials to announce Wednesday that they could
bring back the Unlimited hydroplane racing boats for the 52nd year.
The race weekend is scheduled for July 5-7, with a full lineup of festival
events in the days preceding it.
Budweiser is providing $40,000 to become the title sponsor; Cruisin
Auto will kick in between $20,000 and $25,000 to become a presenting
sponsor, Gray said. Madison Regatta Inc. board president Tony
Steinhardt announced the news at a March 5 press conference at Madison
We are extremely excited. This decision by this board today to
bring in the Unlimiteds would not be possible without Marcs help
as a sponsor, Steinhardt said.
Gray, who has operated his car sales business for 20 years, said he
is a lifelong Regatta fan who considered it an annual family event that
was too important to see end. Our customers are like family, and
thats the reason we decided to do this. The Unlimiteds are arguably
the best race show on Earth.
Madison Mayor Al Huntington acknowledged a declining interest in the
Regatta among area residents and urged the community to buy wristbands
and support the event this year.
Steinhardt thanked former title sponsor Belterra Casino Resort for its
support the previous two years and said Belterra officials had been
helping the Regatta locate additional supporting sponsors. Belterra
has remained as a supporting sponsor this year.
Steinhardt cited a Purdue University study conducted at last years
Regatta that showed an economic impact of more than $1.2 million to
the community. The board felt we could not let an event that has
that much of an economic impact go by the wayside. And we felt that
the community support for an event without the Unlimiteds would not
be there, and any support we had would dwindle.
Steinhardt also announced a three-day race schedule for this year, with
admission gates going up on Friday this year. About 10 Unlimiteds are
reportedly ready to participate in the six-stop Hydro-Prop racing circuit
this season. The big boats will begin testing on Friday this year, with
qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday. The community owned Miss
Madison-Oh Boy OBerto, which won last years Madison Regatta,
is scheduled to compete in all six Hydro-Prop races this year.
Steinhardt said a vintage race boat program will be part of the lineup
on the Ohio River. This will include a variety of boat classes plus
an exhibition of Jersey Speed Skiffs, some of which will offer $20 rides
to fans. The vintage race program will officially be called the Bob
Snelling Vintage Memorial Race in memory of the late city councilman,
former Regatta president and race chairman.
Advance wristband sales to the Madison Regatta are $15 through June
29 and $20 thereafter. Children 10 and under are free. Tickets may be
For more information, call (812) 265-5000 or visit: www.madisonregatta.com.
American Legion to sponsor fireworks
For the second consecutive year and third overall, the American Legion
Post No. 9 has stepped forward to sponsor the Madison Regatta fireworks
show, this year scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday, July 6. Regatta and American
Legion officials announced the decision at a March 13 press conference
Everyone loves the fireworks show, and especially this year after
what happened on 9-11, we decided it would be the best use of the organizations
funds for the greater good of the community, said Cmdr. Bill Bruther.
I have grandchildren, and I know how much the kids love the fireworks.
Its one of the few times the community comes together.
The post will provide $20,000 to stage the fireworks show on the Ohio
River as part of this years Budweiser Madison Regatta presented
by Cruisin Auto.
Steinhardt said that patriotic music playing over the public address
system would accompany this years fireworks show. Regatta official
Kim Washer added that some new surprises are also in the works. She
would not elaborate. Zambellis International of New Castle, Pa.,
will stage the fireworks show.
Official song announced
The membership of the Budweiser Madison Regatta presented by Cruisin
Auto has announced an Official Song for the Event titled, Ride
That River. The song was written and performed by Madison singer-songwriter
The Regatta membership is very happy to include Ride That
River into the Budweiser Madison Regatta Presented by Cruisin
Autos program. Given that Rusty lives in Madison and knows what
the Regatta is all about is great, said Tony Steinhardt, Madison
Bladen is no stranger to the Regatta. He has played at the Regattas
Music on the River for many years, and now Bladen is in his second year
of chairing the growing event. Music on the River is held nightly from
July 4-7 at Firemans Park along the riverfront. An entertainment
schedule and an announcement of Music on the River sponsors will be
out in the coming months.
Bladen plans to record a commemorative two-song CD in April with three
members of Indiana-based rock star John Mellencamps band. The
songs, Ride That River and Red, White and Blue,
will be the featured cuts. Bladen has rewritten some of the words of
the latter song to reflect the events of Sept. 11.
Its now a song about a New York City firefighter,
Bladen said. The CD will be available at House O Hits music store and
wherever Bladen performs. He is next scheduled to appear in Madison
at 8 p.m. on April 12 at The Wharf.
Advance Admission to the 2002 Budweiser Madison Regatta presented by
Cruisin Auto is $15 through June 29 and $20 thereafter, and at
the gates (children 10 and under are free).
For more information on ticket and seating options
and news about the Regatta, call (812) 265-5000 or visit: www.madisonregatta.com.
For more about Rusty Bladen, visit: www.rustybladen.com
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