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Riverfest Regatta rows on despite COVID-19

Clarksville RiverFest 2020Clarksville, TN – Many of the events at this year’s Riverfest had to be re-engineered, thanks to COVID-19 Coronavirus. Though some were canceled because of social distancing concerns, the good people at Clarksville Parks and Recreation did manage to find ways to carry on in the spirit of Clarksville’s favorite outdoor festival.

With twelve days of events, such as the Juried Art Show, Virtual Talent Competition, Virtual 5K, and the ever-popular Riverfest Cardboard Boat Regatta, the new-normal version of the festival was smaller and quieter, but a success none the less.

Though smaller this year, Riverfest still managed to produce several great events, including Saturday's Riverfest Cardboard Boat Regatta.
Though smaller this year, Riverfest still managed to produce several great events, including Saturday’s Riverfest Cardboard Boat Regatta.

At this year’s Regatta there were eleven entries, some more stable than others, and dozens of brave boaters, also, judging by the costumes, some more stable than others.

Taking to the water were unicorns, hula dancers, and Vikings. Wayne and Garth even made a special appearance. Dozens of supporters lined the shore to cheer on their favorite crew.

In the City and County Departments category there were five entries. Ty Burdine’s boat The Barrett Beaver, Phil Harpel’s Front Line Heroes, (carrying prominent passengers Mayor Joe Pitts, CFD Chief Freddie Montgomery and Sarah Sager), Freedom from the Codes Department, Usain Boat from Clarksville Gas and Water, and Otter Squad 6, captained by Brandon Powers.

In the Youth with Adult category there was Tick Tock Croc, captained by Alex Steen, and The Argo, captained by Gary Steen.

There was only one entry in the Church/Civic Organization category, Still Float Worthy, which was crewed by the Trail Life USA Troop TN-0101.

In the Adult Open category there was Passing Wind, captained by Nichole Phillips, The Mirthmobile, captained by Dillon Huycke, and Island Girls, captained by Teresa Welch.

Otter Squad took 1st Place among City and County Departments. In Youth with Adult, 1st Place Tick Tock Croc edged out 2nd place The Argo by a mere 3 seconds, to win the category. Still Float Worthy took 1st in Church/Civic Organizations, and the results in Adult Open were 1st Place – Passing Wind, 2nd Place – Mirthmobile, and 3rd Place – Island Girls.

This year’s event was sponsored by The Villages at the River Club. To conclude the event, Lisa Klasen presented some very special awards to the winners: Usain Boat – Ship Shape Award, Freedom – Cardboard Queen Award, Front Line Heroes – Team Unity Award, Island Girls – Team Attire Award, and Front Line Heroes – the coveted Titanic Award.

Threatening weather forced the event to start earlier than scheduled, but luckily, all the spectators and most of the participants stayed dry. “Well, it was wet, and the water didn’t come from the sky, it came from the boat,” Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said. “We had fun though. There was a great turnout, I think we had eleven entries this year. It’s sad that we weren’t able to do our traditional Riverfest, but there’s always next year. We’ll be back.”

To close this year’s Riverfest, a drive-in fireworks display was presented at Liberty Park, Saturday night at 9:00pm.


The awards went to the following teams:

  • Ship Shape Award– Usain Boat
  • Cardboard Queen– Freedom
  • Team Unity Award– Front Line Heroes
  • Team Attire Award– Island Girls
  • Titanic Award– Front Line Heroes

City/County Category

1st- Otter Squad 6

Civic/Church Category

1st Place- Still Float Worthy

Adult Open Category

1st Place- Passing Wind
2nd Place- The Mirthmobile
3rd Place- Island Girls

Youth with Adult Category

1st Place- Tick Tock Croc
2nd Place- The Argo


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