WORTHINGTON — By mid-afternoon Tuesday, food vendors were beginning to get set up, the lakeside road was secured by barricades and a handful of windsurfers were getting the lay of the lake along Sailboard Beach. By time of tonight’s opening ceremonies, everything should be ready for the 2014 Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival.
“We already have people here who have national identities from Belgium, Australia and Great Britain, as well as from Utah, Texas and Michigan,” listed Bill Keitel, who lives across from Sailboard Beach and is one of the event’s co-founders. “We just had people show up from Florida who have never been here before, and they are giddy with excitement to be here.”The 15th annual WR & UMF, which this year is the host event for the US Windsurfing Nationals, begins today and continues through Sunday. Worthington Okabena Windsurfers President Ken Moser is optimistic that all the elements will come together to create a record-setting event.“I think we’re going to have a phenomenal crowd,” he said. “All the buzz is there. It feels like we’re going to have a banner event.”
The weather forecast calls for variable conditions throughout the week, noted Moser, with hopefully just enough wind to please the windsurfers and enough sunshine and warm temperatures to make it comfortable for those attending the music festival.As part of WCCO’s “Goin’ to the Lake” series, Worthington will also be the site of live broadcasts for both WCCO-TV and Radio, and Moser encourages local residents to come out and watch those broadcasts. Television broadcasts featuring Lauren Casey and Worthington native Liz Collin will be during the 5 and 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts Thursday and Friday. Radio personality John Williams will broadcast live from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday from BenLee’s Cafe in downtown Worthington. Pioneer Public TV will also capture footage of the festival.Events formally get under way tonight with the opening ceremony scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on the Sailboard Stage. The national anthem will be sung by Melissa Remme, and the flag-raising ceremony will be conducted by members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3958, who will be led in by artist-in-residence drummer Steve Turner and some of his workshop students.Musical performances, artistic opportunities and sailing events will continue through the weekend. Lake Street will be blocked off for the duration of the festival, and Moser asks people to leave the barricades in place and use the parking areas located just a block or two from Sailboard Beach.
Wednesday, June 11
9 to 11 a.m., windsurfer registration9 a.m., skipper’s meeting, racing to follow9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Artist Shawn McCann, VFW11 a.m. to 8 p.m., food vendors open3 to 5 p.m., “Drumming is Easy” workshop with Steve Turner3 to 11 p.m., beer tent open4:30 to 8 p.m., Daily Globe tent open5:30 p.m., opening ceremony6 p.m., Jalan Crossland8 p.m., Ray Wylie Hubbard10:15 p.m., Shoreline Jam, all musicians and public welcome
Thursday, June 129 a.m., skipper’s meeting, racing to follow9 a.m. to noon, workshop for parents and kids with artist Kevin Reese9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Artist Shawn McCann, VFW11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Daily Globe tent open; food vendors open3 to 11 p.m., beer tent open6 p.m., Trefoil8 p.m., Paul Mayasich & RAMM Band10:15 p.m., Shoreline Jam, all musicians and public welcome
Friday, June 139 a.m., skipper’s meeting, racing to follow11 a.m. to 6 p.m., chainsaw artist Marc Kurtz, Second Avenue & Lake Street11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Arts on the Shore vendors open; Daily Globe tent open; food vendors open3 to 11:59 p.m., beer tent open6 p.m., Narrow Vines8 p.m., Ipso Facto10:15 p.m., Shoreline Jam, all musicians and public welcome
Saturday, June 14Regatta Bike Ride, registration from 8 to 9 a.m., ride at 9 a.m., Centennial Park8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Daily Globe tent open9 a.m., skipper’s meeting, racing to follow9 a.m. to 6 p.m., artist Shawn McCann, VFW10 a.m. Zumba, America Voss10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kids Art Tent11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Arts on the Shore vendors open; food vendors openNoon to 11:59 p.m., beer tent open1 p.m., Larry Myer3 p.m., Land Shark5 p.m., Daily Globe Chair Auction6 p.m., The Tinder Box8 p.m., Ride10:15 p.m., Shoreline Jam, all musicians and public welcome
Sunday, June 159 a.m., skipper’s meeting, racing to follow10 a.m. to 2 p.m, Daily Globe tent open11 a.m. to 3 p.m., food vendors openAfternoon, Windsurfing Award Ceremony
Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers may be reached at 376-7327.