Sun shines on Day 1Large crowd gathers as 11th annual Regatta begins
WORTHINGTON — On a warm and muggy — and dry evening on Sailboard Beach, one of the on-stage musical acts at the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival offered some sage advice: “Please stay hydrated."
By: Ryan McGaughey, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — On a warm and muggy — and dry evening on Sailboard Beach, one of the on-stage musical acts at the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival offered some sage advice:
“Please stay hydrated. That is your public service announcement from the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra.”
The words of wisdom were presented to many, as throngs of folks had made their way down to the shoreline by early Friday evening to take in the 11th annual Regatta. As the country-rock-bluegrass hybrid of GCO got toes a-tapping throughout the crowd, windsurfers took to the waters of Lake Okabena to prepare for this weekend’s racing.
Randy Moon of Minneapolis will be windsurfing — and more — this weekend.
“I’m meeting kids from other parts of the state, giving them lessons and introducing them to racing,” Moon said. While he said he would also be competing at the Regatta, “the priority is to get the kids in the water,” he added.
There was certainly plenty for kids to do Friday night along Sailboard Beach. About 20 youths were busy in a tented arts area working with Nicole and Nick Fischer, who were leading a mural project made possible by a grant from Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council.
“There’s about 600 individual tiles and they each will make up the overall big image,” said Nicole Fischer, who with Nick resides in Aberdeen, S.D. “We give everybody complete freedom to paint whatever they want, but nobody knows what they’re painting until the whole thing is completed. As they (each tile) gets done, we just place them on the board, and the whole image evolves as tiles are added.”
Three 8 foot by 8 foot murals will be created over the course of the weekend, with one guideline for each artist — their tile should be inspired by something connected to the community of Worthington.
The Fischers have done the mural projects annually at a high school festival in Aberdeen. This is their first visit to Worthington.
“We normally don’t do a lot of travel,” Nicole said. “We have three small boys, and that keeps us pretty grounded.”
Moon, on the other hand, has been traveling to Worthington for windsurfing activities since before there was a Regatta festival.
“I’m one of those foreigners who picked up on the high winds here,” said Moon, adding that it was he and others who helped get Regatta co-founder Bill Keitel thinking about a windsurfing-themed event in Worthington. “I’ve been coming here for 15 years ... and I love what this community does to support windsurfing.”
There are plenty of ways for Regatta-goers to continue supporting the annual event, Worthington Okabena Windsurfers Board of Directors Chairwoman Cynthia Morrison said. People can boost the Regatta by patronizing the beer tent, buying T-shirts or making a donation to the festival, she said.
“The patrons of the Regatta festival been very supportive and we certainly appreciate that, but in these economic times, it’s more important than ever to keep the support high,” Morrison added.
With plenty of music set to be played over the remainder of the weekend, Morrison pointed out the reputation the festival has built over time.
“The Regatta is getting a name out there in the art community, and people are knocking on our door, asking to be considered,” she said. “That’s a wonderful vantage point to have, and it speaks to the excitement about the festival from the artist’s point of view. They know we’ve got a captive audience and a wonderful venue.”
There’s plenty of activity scheduled for both today and Sunday on Sailboard Beach. For scheduling information — and to see a live webcam from Sailboard Beach — visit www.dglobe.com.