This past weekend Riverside Park was host to the Regatta Nationals. In case you didn’t know Grand Rapids actually has quite a rich history when it comes to crew, dating back to the 1880s – with humble beginnings on Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids (this part I overheard while walking through the park).
What made this event and the location so awesome:
1. It was nearly in our own backyard (I was able to walk our dog through the entire park including the busy part where the regatta was set up.)
2. It drew in crew clubs and associations from all over the nation (this is the big time baby!)
3. It employed the local facility rentals (tents), the catering companies, the sanitation services and most importantly the beer garden – full stocked with local micro brew favorites (I tip my hat to Brewery Vivant. Yes there were others.)
4. Riverside Park and this particular part of the Grand River are perfect for a regatta competition, with ample space for tents, kayaks and participants; this stretch of the River is calm, straight and wide enough to allow for 6 lanes of competitive fun.
We popped into the park over the weekend to experience various heats and elimination rounds, semi finals and eventually the finals. You could even hear the announcer’s voice in our backyard from time to time. Here are the results of the weekend efforts.
The Regatta Nationals aren’t the only fantastic event at Riverside Park, there are events hosted there all the time and most weekends when I roll out of bed to take the dog for an early morning walk I find myself walking through a festival or competition, wishing for a shower and toothpaste.