Weekly Feature



2018-06-13 / Lifestyles

Rigidized River Fest Regatta to launch on June 16

by NICK KONOTOPSKYJ Reporter


The 2018 Rigidized River Fest Regatta will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at River Fest Park, 249 Ohio St., Buffalo. The 2018 Rigidized River Fest Regatta will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at River Fest Park, 249 Ohio St., Buffalo. Creativity will be on full display when the 18th annual Rigidized River Fest

Regatta takes place on Saturday, June 16, at River Fest Park, 249 Ohio St., Buffalo. This event is in the middle of “Buffalo River Fest” weekend, which is from Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17.

There will be 3-mile and 6-mile courses available. Groups from two to six people can assemble their own boat to sail down the 3-mile course but cannot register for the 6-mile course. People who bring their own kayak, canoe or paddle boat to participate can choose either course.

The 6-mile course will start at 10 a.m. Saturday from the Harlem Road Fishing and Boat Access in West Seneca. The 3-mile course will start at 11 a.m. at the Red Jacket River Front Park, 20 Smith St., Buffalo. Both courses will end at the DEC Ohio Street Public Access Site at the junction of Ohio and South streets.

Tickets are $20 for canoes, paddle boats and kayaks and $30 for people who build their own boat. Those prices will increase $5 each for registration on the day of the event. To learn more, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rigidized-river-fest-regatta-tickets-44454090381.Tickets are $20 for canoes, paddle boats and kayaks and $30 for people who build their own boat. Those prices will increase $5 each for registration on the day of the event. To learn more, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rigidized-river-fest-regatta-tickets-44454090381.
The Rigidized River Fest Regatta isn’t a race for speed and to see who finishes first. Rather, it is a competition for who can make the most creative boat.

“Rigidized Metals [Corp.] first had the idea in 2006 to create a trophy to honor those who created the ‘Most Creative Homemade Seaworthy Vessel’ and forged it in their fabrication shop on Ohio Street,” said Kate Gorman, the company’s executive administrative assistant. “Followers of the competition, past winners and aspiring winners eagerly await each June to see who will win.”

The trophy is called the “Wilkeson Cup,” named after former Buffalo Mayor Samuel Wilkeson. Each year the Wilkeson Cup gets presented to the “Most Creative Homemade Seaworthy Vessel.”

“A panel of independent judges from around Buffalo will cruise around the Buffalo River, evaluating the vessels and use a variety of criteria to determine the most creative one,” Gorman said. “It’s important to note that the winning boat must sail the entire 3-mile race from beginning to end. The judges won’t consider sunken vessels as cup contenders.”

An awards ceremony will take place at River Fest Park at 2:30 p.m., including live music, food and drinks. There will be cash prizes of $1,000 for the most creative vessel and $500 for the runner-up.


Cash prizes will be available for the “Most Creative Vessel” and runner-up at the Rigidized River Fest Regatta. This is the 18th annual event, which is held during Buffalo River Fest weekend. Cash prizes will be available for the “Most Creative Vessel” and runner-up at the Rigidized River Fest Regatta. This is the 18th annual event, which is held during Buffalo River Fest weekend. “Usually we get somewhere around 100 participants, and it’s great to see this event continue to grow,” Gorman said. “We do accept walk-in registration, but the cost for that is $5 more than presale.”

Tickets are $20 for kayaks, canoes and paddle boats while building a boat will cost $30. Ticket prices are per boat, so only one person needs to buy a ticket.

After a ticket is purchased, other team members can be invited to join. All other team members on a boat need to complete a free “Team Member” ticket, specifying which team they are on, so that they can sign the waiver and provide other necessary information.

For the 6-mile course: Drop your boat at the Harlem Launch site by 8:30 a.m., where volunteers will watch over it. Drive back to River Fest Park and board the shuttle back to the launch site.

For the 3-mile course: Drop your boat at Red Jacket River Front Park by 10 a.m., where volunteers will watch over it. Drive back to River Fest Park and board the shuttle back to your boat.

Shuttle pickup and drop-off at Harlem Road and Smith Street will begin at 8:30 a.m. at River Fest Park and run continuously until 2 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Rigidized Metals Corp. and is hosted by the Valley Community Association. To learn more about the Rigidized River Fest Regatta, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rigidized-river-fest-regatta-tickets-444540... or call 849-4780.

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