Make waves for 2016 Regatta: Festival kicks off today at Sailboard Beach

WORTHINGTON -- All systems are go for tonight's launch of the 2016 edition of the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival. As of Thursday afternoon, the tents and the stage were in place, the food vendors were beginning to set up, and ...

The festival grounds for the Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival begin to take shape Thursday afternoon as the tent goes up and food vendors begin to arrive. (Beth Rickers/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - All systems are go for tonight’s launch of the 2016 edition of the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival. As of Thursday afternoon, the tents and the stage were in place, the food vendors were beginning to set up, and a festival atmosphere was beginning to permeate the air along Sailboard Beach.
All will be ready for opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today, according to Regatta President Ken Moser.
“I’d like the forecast to have a little more wind in it for Saturday, but everything else is lining up,” Moser said. “It’s going to be hot, and it’s going to be beautiful.”
The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, which serves as headquarters for information leading up to the festival, reports that a number of windsurfers have already preregistered for the Regatta, and more are anticipated to show up as conditions prove favorable for racing. Race director Jeff Hegwer plans to be on scene later today to begin overseeing the windsurfing activities.
With continued warm weather in the forecast and some big-name talent on the stage, Moser anticipates drawing a large crowd both tonight and Saturday. Those top-notch musicians come to the Regatta stage thanks to a couple of especially generous sponsors.
“When we decided we wanted to take a stab at jumping the music up a bit and saw the costs, we created a new category just as a music sponsor at the $5,000 level to sponsor the headliners,” Moser explained.
Sanford Worthington is the sponsor for tonight’s appearance by Kat Perkins, who was a contender on the 2014 season of NBC’s “The Voice” vocal competition. Marthaler Ford/Chevrolet stepped up to sponsor rising country music star Drake White and The Big Fire for Saturday night’s concert.
“With the new level of sponsorship, there will be some VIP seating for our music sponsors only,” Moser said. “We’ve got some very community minded businesses that wanted to be part of it.”
Moser and his board members are grateful for all the sponsors who give money, time and talent to help the Regatta grow year after year. The list of sponsors is long, with contributions ranging from $100 up to the new $5,000 level, and every bit is needed to pull off the summer festival.
“We’ve got the city, the utility department, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Travelodge, Comfort Suites - all those folks are approaching us, asking ‘What can we do to help?’” credited Moser. “JBS, Bedford - they have all contributed substantial money and talent to help us in pulling this off.
“They are the lifeblood of (the Regatta), not just those major sponsors, but all those who have always been there for us,” Moser continued. “They are the majority part of the funding in order to keep this free. From there, we rely on the consumables on the grounds - the beverages, T-shirts, vendors who pay a fee to be here,” Moser said.
With the sponsors all in place, the windsurfers ready to head out on the lake, and the musical acts ready to roll, Moser hopes the public will come out in full force to support the community effort.
“Buy a T-shirt, have a beer, bring sunblock and a chair,” encouraged Moser. “The National Anthem will be sung at 5:30 (tonight), and at 5:45 we start rocking.”

Along with the National Anthem, the colorguard made up of local armed forces veterans will raise the U.S. flag as part of the opening ceremony. Hitchville will take the stage at 5:45 p.m., followed by Kat Perkins at 8:30 p.m. The beer tent will close at 11:59 p.m.
For a full schedule of events or more information, go to or

Chad Krog of Midwest Concessions readies the signage atop his trailer Thursday at Sailboard Beach. Food vendors are slated to open for business at 11 a.m. today.

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