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HomeNewsClarksville's Riverfest rocked on the Cumberland River all day Saturday

Clarksville’s Riverfest rocked on the Cumberland River all day Saturday

riverfest2009The weather on the second day of Riverfest turned out to be just as good as on the first. The full day of entertainment and wholesome family fun kicked off early with the Riverfest Regatta. The Regatta featured 26 teams racing custom made boats all crafted entirely from corrugated cardboard, Duct Tape, Silicone Sealant, Construction Adhesive, and paint.

This has to be one of the funnest events to watch during the entire festival. The shoreline was packed with people all on hand to cheer on their favorite teams.


img_0192Here’s how it went down. The teams were called out and their boats carried down to the courtesy boat dock. Once all boats were in place they were gingerly placed into the water and team members carefully boarded their vessels. Once all three boats were situated at the starting line the horn sounded and the teams feverishly paddled their boats down river towards the McGregor park Boat ramp. The first boat to reach an orange flag placed on the shoreline near the boat ramp was the winner of that heat.

The boats  are raced in individual heats of three boats per run. The following Prizes are awarded

  • The Ship Shape Award for the most creative boat design
  • The “Cardboard Queen” Award which goes to the prettiest boat in the Regatta
  • The Team unity Award for most spirited and most organized team (Looks don’t matter here!)
  • The Team Attire Award for the team with the most creative costumes
  • The Titanic Award which is awarded on the basis of the most spectacular sinking of the day.

This was in addition to the first, second, and third place awards for each heat. Regatta results are at the bottom of the article below the photo gallery.

The City Council Boat
A can of Whoop Ass

The City council boat featured a catamaran hull, and they brought along a secret weapon a case of whoop ass. Council Members David Allen (Ward 8), Joel Wallace (Ward 9), Bill Summers (Ward 10), and James Lewis (Ward 3) crewed the boat, seeing them off were Councilmembers Geno Grubbs (Ward 7), Candy Johnson (Ward 5), and Deanna McLaughlin (Ward 2).

For the last few years the Parks and Rec Department and the City Council have been swapping out the cardboard City of Clarksville Regatta Trophy. This trophy is exclusively for City Department participants as they are ineligible for the other awards offered in the Regatta. This year, Parks and Rec Department took the Titanic award because as Kevin said during the awards, “We get the award because we had the only boat that sank, and the plaque is dated so he had to get rid of it.” Better luck next year!

Missy Graham looks on as the Parks and Rec crew is fished out of the water
The Clarksville PD boat

The Police Department’s boat was crafted into the form of a giant beaver and was named Leave it to Beaver. The crew members including Chief of Police Al Ansley all wore beaver 100.3FM t-shirts.

Other organizations that raced included Clarksville High School, The Riverview Inn, Clarksville Highs Junior Civitan Club, The Kennedy law firm and their boat the Legal Eagle, the Hilldale Kiwanis Club, the Clarksville Fire Department Explorer Troop, the energetic Paco’s Taco, The Actus team represented Fort Campbell which took home several awards. There were too many teams to recognize them all here but they all did a great job on their boats, showed great sportsmanship during the races, and hopefully everyone had a really great time!

The Kennedy Law firm boat Legal Eagle
The Kennedy Law firm boat Legal Eagle

Following the Regatta the rest of the days’ entertainment beckoned.

The inflatables

As you walked from the Regatta towards the performance stages you passed through the kids area with its multitude of inflatables. Early in the day there was almost no lines, but by evening time you had to spend a bit of time waiting in line at each of them. There were tables and bleachers provided to allow the worn out parents to relax, as their children enjoyed the activities.

Around inflatables’ area you found other things for the kids to enjoy. A booth offering caricatures, another Airbrush tattoos. Booths offered many free games some with prizes for the kids. Then of course always a crowd favorite is the petting zoo, and pony rides.

Katherine Kolodzie and The Roxy booth
Katherine Kolodzie and the Roxy Theatre booth

The Roxy Regional Theatre was on hand in the children’s area and ably represented by its new Director of Public Relations & Development Katherine Kolodzie, who told Parents about the Theatre, the shows suitable for young people, and their “School of the Arts”, and in the process she raised awareness about this fount of culture in our community. Some of the great Children’s shows that the Roxy has put on include “A year with Frog and Toad”, “Seussical the Musical”, “Cats”, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”, and they will soon be showing the hilarious “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” starting on September 18th. The show features six young people competing in a spelling bee, with parents who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, in the process the children learn that winning isn’t everything, and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

Now we move on to the River of Culture!

clarksvillefamilyClarksville Family Magazine sat on the border of Toddler town and the River of Culture, and this was quite fitting. They introduced and sponsor the Toddler Town area which provides age appropriate activities for the younger children. Clarksville Family Magazine has left their mark on the yearly Riverfest Festival, and that deserves special recognition! Their high quality magazine is aimed at parents and families, and the businesses which want to reach them. Clarksville Family Magazine is published by Carla & and Cliff Lavergne. They started publication in April of 2007, and currently publish and distribute 10,000 issues a month, which are available free of charge at various locations around Clarksville. If you are interested in advertising with them you can contact Rachel Phillips at (931) 216-5102.

Riverfest is fast becoming the place to highlight the diverse mix of cultures that make up our community, and to allow the attendees to discover first hand the benefits that our city gains from them. This amazing diversity brings new ideas, new talents, new visions, and perhaps best of all new foods to try into our city. Toreros Fine Mexican Foods gave Riverfest visitors free samples of Churros, a tasty pastry item that originated in Spain. This dish is popular in Mexico, and is becoming popular in the United States. The pastry is fried into long ribbons and frequently topped with a light dusting of sugar and cinnamon.

The colorful Ballet Folklorico Viva Panama dancers
The colorful Ballet Folklorico Viva Panama dancers

Clarksville Online has frequently identified the colorful Ballet Folklorico Viva Panama dancers as area favorites, and they didn’t disappoint at Riverfest. Joining them in that very selective favorites list are the Jezzebellies with their lithe and exotic dances, and the Hui Hawaii O Tenesi Hawaiian Civic Club with their graceful hulas.

Chris Monhollen
Chris Monhollen

After a bit of midday break, We returned to the Festival in time to catch the Beaver’s Country Idol competition. Featuring 17 very talented local singers, the competition had the crowd singing along to the tunes, dancing in the aisles, and all in all having a great time. Chris Monhollen ended up taking home the $1000 dollar prize for the 2009 Beaver Country Idol contest.

The Beaver broadcasts with 100,000 watts at 100.3 on the FM dial, and features some of the best in country music. They are part of the 5 Star Radio Group which also operates Q108 107.9FM, The Eagle 94.3FM, Everything that Rocks Z97.5 FM, & The Fan 540 AM.

After the Beaver Country Idol Contest was over, it seemed as if time began moving twice as fast.

Clarksville Online was fortunate to attend a meet and greet for the headlining performers for the evening, The Trailer Choir , and Jack Ingram. Both of whom graciously allowed us to take the photos used in this story.

The Trailer Choir
The Trailer Choir
Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper with Country Singer Jack Ingram
Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper with Country Singer Jack Ingram

Following that we made our way back through the River of Culture catching the start of the Hui Hawaii O Tenesi Hawaiian Civic Club’s last performance of the evening. As time was growing short we could not stay long, but grabbed a couple of quick shots. We were also lucky to run into some of the Ballet Folklorico Viva Panama dancers, and got a great picture of them as well.

The Pistols
The Pistols

We made it back to the Budweiser stage just before the end of the Pistols performance so we were able to catch a couple minutes of their show before heading on up to the Gateway stage to catch a bit of the Atmoic Blonde performance. They were tearing that stage up, and had the audience all the way up to the front edge of the stage, forming what was to all extents a mosh pit. It was nice to see an audience so engaged in the performance.

We returned to the Budweiser Stage and caught the introduction of The Trailer Choir by Fletch and Bailey from the Beaver 100.3 FM. On the Trailer Choir let me say this, you have to see that big man strut his stuff on the stage. The group mixed humor along with down home country jams. One of their songs facetiously invited the audience to head on down to the Waffle House with them after the performance.

The Trailer Choir performing
The Trailer Choir performing

After listening to their couple of songs, we headed down to the Gateway stage and caught the first act in the Step Exhibition. Step is a form of dance where teams of dancers directly compete with each other each group trying to out perform the other.

As flash photography and video were not permitted of the headlining acts after 8:00pm we headed back to the Budweiser stage and was able to catch the lighted boat parade before heading out for the evening.

Many of the groups that performed during the 2009 Riverfest have music that is available online or on services such as Amazon’s Mp3 Store or iTunes, You can personally say thank you for coming to Clarksville and performing at Riverfest, by buying some of their songs. We have already purchased Off the Hillbilly Hook by the Trailer Choir on iTunes, and are looking forward to purchasing a couple of Jack Ingram albums in the next day or so as well!

Photo Gallery

The pictures from Saturday start on Page 2 of the gallery

Regatta Results

Boat # Race Time Place
Heat 1 Adult Open

1 CMCSS 100% Grad-Sara Cochie 2 2:33 281
2 USS Actus-Barbie Downing 4 1:18 762 2
3 SinkMeNot-Dan Black 6 1:39 737 3

Heat 2 Business & Industry

1 Herbie-Timothy Lease 7 2:44 823
2 Cumberland Cruisers-Martin Thorington 10 1:12 602 2
3 $79 Special-Jason Capps 11 1:41 891

Heat 3 Church/Civic

1 Hilldale Kiwanis-David Elliott 13 2:24 778
2 HMS No Victory-Tracey Voight 16 1:38 881 2
3 Civitan’s At The Helm-Roger Spain 21 2:26 884

Heat 4 Adult/Open

1 I’m On A Boat-Mike Rhodehamel 1 2:07 641
2 Boardmen-James Mann 3 2:22 112
3 USS Actus 2-Bill Devers 5 1:04 403 1

Heat 5 Church/Civic

1 D.O.C. Harmony-Tom Youngblood 14 1:54 510
2 Fire Boat 1-Michael Rios 15 1:39 114 3
3 Paco’s Taco-Farron Montz 18 3;21 096

Heat 6 Business & Industry

1 Legal Eagle-Kevin Kennedy 8 2:58 823
2 Leave It To Beaver-Tyler Barrett 9 1:30 993 3
3 Actus Special Ops-Richard Catignati 12 1:11 150 1

Heat 7 Church/Civic

1 Pink Flamingo-Tracey Voight 17 1:56 624
2 The Mighty Flusher 19 Did Not Show
3 USS Jr. Civitan-John Froboese 20 1:14 051 1

Heat 8 City Department

1 Council Cruiser II 23 Double Entry
2 R.un P.hor C.over-John Spainhoward/Planning Comm 24 1:39 394 2
3 Leave It To Beaver-Tyler Barrett/Police Dept. 25 1:16 560 1

Heat 9 City Department

1 P & R Destroyer-Deanna McLaughlin-City Council 22 1:45 189 3
2 Cruiser Crusher-Kevin Cowling/Parks and Rec. 26 SUNK
Bill Larson
Bill Larson
Bill Larson is  is politically and socially active in the community. Bill is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave. You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.

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