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Regatta Saved, Excitement Builds

The Astoria Regatta is back.

After the Regatta Board that had chosen to suspend the celebration voted anew Thursday night to restore the event, committees are in place to reshape, revive and re-form events for the 119th Regatta.

“We knocked it out of the park,” new Regatta President Peter Roscoe said. “We brought Regatta back.”

The meeting, originally planned for Fulio’s Restaurant, had to be relocated to the Astoria City Hall council chambers because of the number of people who showed up – estimated at 60.

The Regatta Board had voted late last year to suspend operations for 2013 because of a lack of people willing to take a leadership role.

Thursday’s meeting demonstrated people are willing.

“It was packed,” Roscoe said. “And everyone who came is now a member of Regatta.”

David Bue was elected as vice president.

Kevin Leahy will serve as secretary. Grant North will continue as treasurer.

“There are a number of things we worked on and one is the parade committee,” Roscos said. “They are dialed in, and so are other regularly scheduled events.”

Finding someone to attend the Northwest Festival Hosting Association meeting was the main objective of the meeting. Roscoe and Eric Paulson, former two-time Regatta president, will attend next weekend.

Al and Carol Olson have agreed to help with the Regatta Court this year.

“There will certainly be a Regatta Court,” Roscoe said. “But we’re not going to send them to all of the parades they went to in 2011. That’s the kind of thing that has a huge financial impact and the manpower that we can’t afford. And we’re not organized enough at this time to do that.”

Roscoe said each committee will be working somewhat independently and will have the ability to shape and form the events as they want.

He said he hopes the focus will return to the river, with more involvement from the Yacht Club, the Port of Astoria and Pier 39 – all groups that were represented Thursday.

A letter to the editor in today’s Daily Astorian from the Astoria Yacht Club stated, “While we have coordinated our annual activities with the Astoria Regatta Committee, the AYC has always independently initiated and followed through with our on-the-water events utilizing volunteers from the ranks of our membership, and covering the costs with club funds.

“We do hope the Astoria Regatta Committee is able to jump-start the land parade and other traditions for 2013.”

The Columbia River Maritime Museum has also agreed to play a big role, Roscoe said.

“We want people in vessels in Astoria out on the water in the parade because that’s what Regatta means,” Roscoe said. “The meeting was fantastic.”

The next meeting will be held Feb. 7, likely in the Astoria City Council chambers. Details will be announced closer to the date.

This story originally appeared in Daily Astorian.

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