Monday, September 10, 2012

Cardboard Boat Regatta Will Highlight Annual Waterfront Festival During Fall Family Weekend

Teams compete in the 2011 Regatta on the Chester River.
CHESTERTOWN, MD – The annual Waterfront Festival & Cardboard Boat Regatta returns to Chestertown’s Wilmer Park Saturday, September 22 for a fun-filled afternoon of boat rides, live music, hands-on educational displays and hearty local food. The free event, organized by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, will take place from noon to 5 p.m. It promises everything from river cruises aboard the College’s 46-foot research vessel Callinectes, to pony rides, with bluegrass tunes by the Michael Butler Band. Food will include a fish fry, pit beef and funnel cakes.

            The highlight of the festivities, however, will be the Cardboard Boat Regatta, in which teams paddle their homemade vessels—crafted from corrugated cardboard, duct tape and glue, with a few coats of latex paint for waterproofing—around a 300-meter course vying for prizes and titles. The regatta is open to individuals, businesses, schools, civic groups and non-profit entities in Kent or Queen Anne’s County Maryland. Each boat must have at least two and no more than six team members, and participants must be at least 12 years of age. 

            Teams must register for the race by September 19 by emailing or calling event coordinator Rachel Field (; 410-810-7162) or by registering online at The CES staff has posted boat-building advice on the Web site, as well.
            All the cardboard-boat entries go on display at noon on race day.  The popular boat parade begins at 2:45 p.m., and the race starts at 3 p.m. in front of the Leila Hynson Pavilion in Wilmer Park. 
            In case of foul weather, activities may be cancelled. Please check the Center Web site or call  410-810-7162 for cancellation notice.      

Not every boat stays afloat, as this scene from 2011 illustrates.