GREAT FALLS — If you are at Wadsworth Park in Great Falls on July 9, you may see people paddling around in cardboard boats.
The Great Falls Animal Shelter's first-ever cardboard regatta is meant to be somewhat competitive and, of course, a lot of fun.
"It does have to just be made out of corrugated cardboard, specifically, and tape. You can have tape within half an inch of the seams. So you can't duct tape the whole boat," Great Falls Animal Shelter Volunteer Coordinator Laramie Smovir said.
Other rules include a maximum length of seven feet and a maximum width of four feet. Boats must have an empty gallon jug attached with 12 feet of rope so the boat can be found and removed from the water if it sinks.
While the primary purpose of the event is to raise money, that's not the only purpose.
"Really, it's about community involvement and just getting everyone out to have some fun in the sun on a Sunday afternoon," said Smovir.
The competition will be broken into four groups, one each for kids, the general public, businesses, and people whose boats don't meet the requirements. The entry fee is $20 for kids, $25 for the general public, $50 for businesses, and $25 for boats that don't meet the requirements.
"We're super excited that we have some really great awards to give out," said Smovir. "Our friends down at Scheel's have also donated $1,000 worth of gift cards. So we'll be giving those out not only as awards but having a couple raffles."
The event website states: "Participants, ranging from amateurs to seasoned builders, embark on an unforgettable adventure to create vessels that are not only aesthetically impressive but also capable of floating and maneuvering through the water. With cardboard as their primary building material, teams must meticulously craft their boats to withstand the challenges of the aquatic environment."
The event will feature four categories for entry:
- Buccaneers: Young aspiring sailors aged 8-13 will showcase their engineering skills and imaginative designs, captaining their own cardboard boats in a race that will surely be a highlight of the day.
- Mariners: Open to the general public, this category invites individuals, families, and groups to craft their cardboard vessels and sail the waters of Wadsworth Pond. It's an excellent chance for amateur shipbuilders and sailors to put their ingenuity to the test.
- Yachtsmen: Corporate teams will take the competition to another level, engaging in friendly rivalry as they navigate the pond in their meticulously crafted cardboard yachts. This category adds an exciting corporate element to the event, fostering team-building and camaraderie.
- Scallywags: For those daring souls with a hint of rebellious spirit, the Scallywags category embraces rule breakers who dare to defy convention. This category encourages unconventional boat designs and promises unexpected surprises on the water.
Participants must pay a small entry fee, which will contribute to the ongoing efforts of the City of Great Falls Animal Shelter in providing care and support for our beloved furry friends.Attendance at the races to cheer on the participants is free, and all are welcome to join in the festivities.
Team registration opens at 11:00 am with races starting at 1:00 pm.
For more information, including registration details, rules, and regulations, click here to visit the City website.
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