WORTHINGTON -- The opening ceremonies at the Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival took place a day late, but on Thursday night, Bill Keitel, vice president of U.S. Windsurfing Association and one of the Worthington Regatta's founders, took the stage to officially open the event.
"There are not many places in the world you can windsurf on the edge of a tornado," Keitel told the crowd, referring to Wednesday night's bad weather.
Keitel acknowledged the windsurfers, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and the visitor's bureau.
"They are the ones that make these things happen," he said.
He recognized the board members of the U.S. Windsurfing Association, who came from Colorado, Oregon, Florida, California, the Great Lakes region and, of course, Worthington.
Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh welcomed the crowd, the board, the visitors from Crailsheim, Germany, and the windsurfers from all over the globe.
He praised the efforts of city employees, from the council and the workers who performed hasty work on Sailboard Beach to get it ready in time for the Regatta. He also acknowledged the Lake Okabena Improvement Association for its efforts to preserve the lake for future generations.
As the flag was raised, the Worthington Brass played "The Star Spangled Banner," and then Germany's anthem, acknowledging Thursday's arrival of Crailsheim citizens.