(June 23, 2017) – After two tough years plagued by rising waters and bad weather, resulting in rising debt, the Madison Regatta returns for its 67th year featuring a smaller yet just as exciting race schedule, organizers say. MainSource Bank returns as the title sponsor.
Rather than the usual nine or 10 Unlimited hydroplanes competing on the Ohio River for the Indiana Governor’s Cup, this year’s schedule will feature only four Unlimiteds taking part in various two-boat exhibition runs on the two-mile course, concluding with a four-boat race for the Governor’s Cup in the weekend finale.
In addition, eight Grand Prix World automotive-powered boats and three Grand National limited boats will vie for the Midwest Tube Mills Championship on a one-mile course. The pared down race schedule was conceived as a way of reducing costs to help pay off previous debt, said Regatta President Dan Cole.
“We felt we needed to do something to address the budget shortfall from the previous two years but still provide our fans with a great week of fun festival events and racing,” he said. “Ten months ago, H1 Unlimited asked us to rebrand and improve our event, and we have.”
• For admission wristbands and more information, call (812) 274-0400 or visit: www.MadisonRegatta.com.
2017 Madison Regatta Festival Schedule
June 24: 3 on 3 Basketball. 9 a.m. at the Brown Gym.
June 24-25: Remote controlled boats. Noon at Jefferson Proving Ground’s Krueger Lake.
June 25: Little Miss and Princess contest at 3 p.m.; Pre-Teen and Teen contests at 6:30 p.m. at North Madison Christian Church, Hwy. 62.
June 25: Madison Regatta Kick-Off Party. Noon - 8 p.m. at Madison Bicentennial Park. Featuring kids inflatables, waterslide, food vendors, giveaways, games. Live music by No Name Band (noon - 2 p.m.), split River Band 92-4 p.m., Lindsey Lane Band 94-6 p.m.), Jimmy Davis Band (6-8 p.m.).
June 26: Miss Madison Regatta Scholarship Pageant. 7 p.m. at North Madison Christian Church. Admission $8 at the door.
June 27: Madison Regatta-RKO Enterprises Waterball Fights. 6 p.m. on Main Street in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse.
June 27: Movie “Madison” sponsored by the City of Madison. 9 p.m. at Madison Bicentennial Park.
June 28: WORX Street Dance 5-9 p.m. on Vaughn Drive in front of Fireman’s Park. Karaoke from 9-11 p.m. after the Street Dance.
June 28: Cutie Pie and Baby Contests. 6 p.m. at Madison Bicentennial Park. Register at 5 p.m.
June 29 - July 1:
Music on the River
(At Fireman’s Park on Vaughn Drive)
• June 29: Davy Harmon (4-5 p.m.), Spare Change (5-8:30 p.m.), Jason Wells (9-11 p.m.).
• June 30: Arlie Box (4-5 p.m.), Southern Compromise (5-7 p.m.), SandCreek Soul (7-9:30 p.m.), The Habit (9:30 p.m. - midnight).
• July 1: 5 p.m. - midnight. The Jimmy Davis Band, Nick Dittmeier & the Sawduster, and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Tickets $10 with a Regatta wristband; $15 without wristband.
June 29: Rockin’ the Riverfront. 9 p.m. at the Regatta VIP tent on the riverfront with Country Bourne band. Admission $5 at the door. Must be 21-over to enter.
June 30: Madison Regatta Golf Scramble.
Register at 8 a.m. Tee off at 9 a.m. at Sunrise Golf Course.
July 1: Jane Jacobs Memorial Madison Courier 10K Run & Walk. Event begins at 8:15 a.m. at Madison Consolidated High School parking lot.
July 1: Madison Regatta Parade. 7 p.m. on Madison’s Main Street.
July 1: Fireworks Spectacular on the Riverfront. 10 p.m. Sponsored by the American Legion and others.
Cole presented the proposal for the four-boat schedule to H1 Unlimited series officials, and they approved.
Cole and his Regatta Committee members also devised a new event to help raise additional money, while giving Regatta fans more bang for their buck. A paid-entry concert is planned from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday night of Regatta Weekend, June 30 – July 2, featuring the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Opening for the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band will be Madison’s own Jimmy Davis Band, followed by Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters.
Entry fee is $10 for those with a Regatta wristband, or $15 for those without a wristband. The concert will precede the annual free fireworks show at dusk. Madison Tool Co. is sponsoring a Food Truck Challenge at the concert, a competition among food trucks in attendance.
Six food trucks from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Ind., and Louisville, Ky., will compete for the grand prize during the concert at Bicentennial Park. Children 10 and under are free to the concert and Food Truck Challenge.
“There’s a lot of buzz in town about the concert, so I hope everyone keeps promoting it so we can sell a lot of tickets,” Cole told his committee members.
In yet another move, Cole on June 14 announced that the committee had secured former Indiana University basketball star Yogi Ferrell to serve as this year’s parade grand marshal. Ferrell is the former Indiana Mr. Basketball from Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis who became one of IU’s most popular players. At Indiana, Ferrell averaged 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. He shot 43.2 percent from the floor, 39.9 percent from the 3-point stripe and 83 percent from the line for his career.
Ferrell was undrafted after graduating IU last year but was later signed by the Dallas Mavericks. He just finished his rookie NBA season, in which he set rookie records in 3-pointers in a game.
“I’m just thrilled to have someone of his stature to serve as our grand marshal,” Cole said. “We have been discussing ways of getting millennials (those born in 1981 and later) to come to our events, and many millennials are watching the NBA.”
Cole said Ferrell would be in Regatta pits from 2:30-4 p.m. Friday, June 30, to watch the Unlimiteds test and later participate in the Regatta parade Friday evening. The parade steps off at 7 p.m. on Madison’s Main Street.
At the weekly Regatta Committee meeting on June 14, committee members reported the latest updates on various Regatta Festival events, which kick off Saturday, June 24 and run through July 2.
The 3-on-3 Basketball contest still needed teams at press time, according to Festival Chair Kim Washer. It is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 24, at the Brown Gym. Registration forms are available at the Regatta website.
Remote control boat racing on Krueger Lake inside the Jefferson Proving Ground is set for June 24 and June 25, beginning at noon both days.
Several Regatta pageants for girls of all ages are planned again this year. The Little Miss and Princess contests are set for 3 p.m. Sunday, June 25, at North Madison Christian Church, 1400 E. State Rd. 62. The Pre-Teen and Teen pageants are set for 6:30 p.m. at the church, according to pageants coordinator Kim True.
This year’s Madison Regatta Scholarship Pageant will present $5,000 in scholarships – the most ever in the festival’s history, officials said. The event, set for 7 p.m. Monday, June 26, at the church, will crown the Regatta Queen.
After more than 45 years of sponsoring the pageant, the women of Xi Beta Upsilon have retired and turned the event over the Regatta Festival Committee.
This year’s event is sponsored by Blush on Main. Tickets to the event are $8 and available at Blush on Main, German American bank branches, the Regatta office on Vaughn Drive and at the door.
The Madison Regatta Kick-Off Party has been a success since its inception a few years ago to generate excitement in the community. This year’s Kick-Off Party is planned at noon Sunday, June 25, at Bicentennial Park on the riverfront. The event will feature inflatables for kids, a waterslide, food vendors, McDonald’s giveaways and more, according to organizer Crystal McHargue. A corn hole tournament is also planned as part of the day’s festivities.
Live music is scheduled all day, beginning at noon featuring No Name Band. They will be followed by Split River Band (2-4 p.m.), Lindsey Lane Band (4-6 p.m.) and the Jimmy Davis Band (6-8 p.m.).
On Tuesday night, June 27, the Madison Regatta-RKO Enterprises Waterball Fight is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Main Street in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse. This event features competition between Madison’s all-volunteer fire departments.
Photo courtesy of CBS Sports
Former Indiana University star and now Dallas Mavericks NBA player Yogi Ferrell of Indianapolis will serve as parade grand marshal on Friday, June 30, at the Madison Regatta Festival. The parade steps off at 7 p.m.
Later that evening, the city of Madison will present the movie “Madison” at 9 p.m. on a screen set up at Bicentennial Park. The event is free and those attending are urged to bring chairs or blankets.
WORX radio presents its annual Street Dance from 5-9 p.m. Wednesday on Vaughn Drive in front of Firemen’s Park. It’s located at the foot of Jefferson Street. There will be karaoke from 9-11 p.m. following the Street Dance.
A Cutie Pie and Baby Contest is planned at Bicentennial Park, with registration at 5 p.m. and the event to begin at 6 p.m.
“Music on the River” by live bands is planned Thursday and Friday nights on the stage at Firemen’s Park. The bands will begin playing at 5 p.m. each day. Thursday’s lineup features Davy Harmon (4-5 p.m.), Spare Change (5-8:30 p.m.) and Jason Wells (9-11 p.m.). Friday’s lineup features Arlie Box (4-5 p.m.), Southern Compromise (5-7 p.m.), SandCreek Soul (7-9:30 p.m.) and The Habit (9:30-midnight).
Meantime, the “Rockin’ the VIP Tent” event returns to the Regatta VIP Tent on the riverfront on Thursday, June 29. This year’s featured band is Country Bourne, which will perform from 8 p.m. – midnight. Tickets are $5 at the door, and patrons must be 21 and over to enter.
The Regatta Golf Scramble has been moved to Sunrise Golf Course this year and planned for Friday, June 30.
Registration is still open and costs $275 for a four-person team. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m., with tee-off at 9 a.m. Golf teams can sign up that day.
The winning team will be offered the chance to ride in the Madison Regatta Parade.
The “Jane Jacobs Memorial Madison Courier 10K Walk & Run” will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 1, beginning at the Madison Consolidated High School. Registration is available online at www.MadisonRegatta.com.
Photo courtesy of Chris Denslow
The Madison Consolidated High School Band marches down Main Street during the Madison Regatta Parade.
The festival week concludes with the ever-popular free fireworks show at 10 p.m. Saturday. This year’s sponsors are the American Legion Post 9, the city of Madison and the Jefferson County Board of Tourism.
“They’re hitting us and hitting us hard,” she reported to the committee. “They do not want to see the Regatta go away.”
Regatta wristbands are $25 and available online, at the Regatta office and at these locations: MainSource Bank, German American Bank, Fillin’ Station Liquors, Northside Liquors, VisitMadison Inc., Kroger, Cork & Bottle, The Bottle Shop, CVS of Madison and Hanover and Hanover Package Store.
McHargue said a new online Regatta wristband sales promotion this year offering a “Buy 3 Get 1 Free” deal was a huge success.
• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email him at: info@RoundAbout.bz.
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