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Sanctuary Gearing Up For Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta

Cardboard boat racers move their boat down to the river before the 2017 Cardboard Boat Regatta.

Alpena — The Fourth of July, a time for fireworks, cookouts, and cardboard boats.

This year’s Maritime Festival will feature the 2018 Cardboard Boat Regatta as one of the marquee events at the Thunder Bay River. Michiganders throughout the sunrise side have been hard at work, assembling their cardboard boats to win the coveted Thunder Bay Cup. Racers can also win additional awards. Judges will evaluate each boat for design, creativity, and performance. People show great ingenuity when it comes to creating these makeshift vessels.

“I was surprised the first time I saw them,” said Regatta Organizer Phil Hartmeyer. “People would get incredibly creative with these designs and, we’ve had boats that have come back three years running.”

The race will begin at 2:15pm, starting with the kids paddle class. Four classes divide the racers into their respective category. The kids paddle allows children 10-14 to battle it out. The single sailor class puts individuals against each other. Class three is two sailors and class four is the whole-crew group which features more than three sailors. Awards will be handed out around 4:00pm.

“In addition to the boat regatta, we’ve got games and activities for the kids,” said Hartmayer. “We’ve got food vendors and all sorts of things going on so, it’s great way to celebrate family, celebrate summer, and celebrate Alpena.”

For information on how to register and details on the event, visit the Friends of Thunder Bay website by clicking here.