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Cardboard Regatta coming to Four Freedoms Park

By Staff | Apr 13, 2013

It’s sink or swim time for many businesses, youth groups, schools and groups of friends.

It’s time for the 20th annual Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta, which will take place Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, at Four Freedoms Park.

The event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cape Coral, and the proceeds of the event will go toward supporting its many charitable endeavors.

“As Rotarians, we give all our money away. It’s helped eradicate polio, and closer to home we give out dictionaries to third graders,” said event organizer Jim Perry. “Equally as important, it’s a family fun event.”

The last few years have been tough because of the economy and the regatta lost its main sponsor. Last year, the weather kept many people away and the event lost money

The rain date is Sunday, April 21, and the Rotarians hope it doesn’t come to that.

For companies, this is great team-building experience that gives employees a chance to work together toward a common goal and have a blast doing it.

“Businesses thrive on how their employees work together and this is a team-building effort,” Perry said. “It doesn’t matter how they end up, it matters where they are.”

The cost is $30 for families and individuals, $50 for clubs and organizations, and $275 for corporate teams, which includes boat entry, two pre-event party passes, two T-shirts and a stage mention.

The fun begins Friday night, with the “Meet the Boat Builder” party beginning at 5 p.m., with the opening ceremony shortly thereafter. Boats will then be judged until 10 p.m.

The racing and other activities, such as a 50/50 raffle and awards ceremony, will be Saturday.

Judging will begin at 9 a.m.; the official opening will be at 10 a.m. and the races will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Rotary Club will also have three cardboard boats available for those who want to race, but don’t have time to build a boat. For $10 per boat (max of two people in a boat), you can race in Citizen’s Challenge Races that will be run all day.

After the races, you can watch as all the boats enter the water and attempt to destroy the other boats in what is known as the free-for-all, which is most fun.

“If you want to see a bunch of crazy people get wet, come Saturday,” Perry said. “The Boys Scouts, Cape Coral and Ida Baker, they come out with the mind set of having fun and destroying the boats.”

The event started in 1994, with the Rotary Club taking over sponsorship in 2005. It has taken place at Four Freedoms since 2009.

For more information, call the Rotary Club at 699-7942.