WORTHINGTON — A community church service will be a new component of the Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival this year.

Wesley Kouba, lead pastor at Lakeside Church in Worthington, is in his first year on the Regatta’s board of directors.

“I started asking questions about why this event runs through Sundays,” Kouba said. “Historically, I think there was racing and awards that took place on Sunday.”

That led to a discussion of just what should take place on Sunday during Regatta celebrations, and how the stage could be utilized.

“The audio/visual will be taken down Saturday night, but the stage will be up Sunday,” Kouba said. “So, I thought maybe we’d ask around and see if anyone wants to do a worship service together. There was a lot of interest, and we’re still putting together churches that want to be a part of it yet.”

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Kouba stressed that the Sunday morning service along Sailboard Beach “is not really a Lakeside thing,” but something coordinated by a few area churches. He said that the service will likely have a casual atmosphere and will be open to anyone who wishes to attend. Churches participating as of mid-May include Lakeside Church, Worthington Christian Reformed Church and Solid Rock Assembly.

The service will start at 11 a.m., and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. People who go to the service are encouraged to help clean up Sailboard Beach after the service and also utilize food vendors set up for the Regatta’s final day.

“The heartbeat behind this is that this is the first city event since COVID, so we wanted to provide an opportunity for the church and God's people to come out and demonstrate unity and celebrate,” Kouba said. “It’s really kind of a big deal to get this many people in one location with no masks.”

Kouba is proud to be a member of the Regatta board and is pleased to be working with others on coordinating such a popular annual festival.

“The Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival has always been my wife (Katie) and I’s favorite city event,” he explained. “I’d been looking for opportunities to be a part of the community and service. Barry Roberts is on the board, and asked me if I would be willing to do it.”

With just a few days before the first Regatta in two years, the board is working hard, Kouba said.

“The biggest thing we’re working on is just getting sponsors and advertising, but now that we're getting close, things are starting to come together,” he said