NORWOOD - Norwood Lake Association officials are putting the finishing touches on the preparation for this year’s 25th annual Norwood Lake Regatta - a milestone that was never expected in their “wildest imagination.”
The regatta is highlighted by the watercross pro and semi-pro snowmobile races.
Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Norwood Beach, with races beginning at 11 a.m. both days.
“The numbers are expected to be about the same or a slight increase this year – somewhere between 35 and 50 (racers,)” Norwood Lake Association and Mayor James H. McFaddin said. “(The weather) is expected to be two perfect summer days. Sunday during the day (there may be) some clouds, but overall the weekend should be great and benefit the event.”
General admission is $5 and children 12 and under may attend for free.
The races are conducted by the Eastern Watercross Association and the field will consist of both professionals and semi-pros competing in 600 and 800 oval races; referring to the engine size.
Mr. McFaddin said that when the event began more than two decades ago it’s life expectancy was certainly not this long. When asked if he thought the regatta would still be going on in 2014, he responded, “Not in my wildest imagination. The first time we had it we figured it would be for five years. We started with hydroplaning at first and we were told the life span would be about five years. Just because of costs and if the weather is bad one year, it just sets you back,” Mr. McFaddin said.
One amateur will get the opportunity to be instructed by a pro and then try their hand at going through the race course as well.
Mr. McFaddin said most of the racers seem to be in their 20s and 30s, but some veteran racers are still going in their 40s. He also noted the competitors typically range from all across the Northeast and Canada.
In addition to the snowmobile races, there also will be a large offering of crafts, vendors and legal beverages over the weekend.
“The numbers are down a little, probably around 15, but I understand that there are quality crafts and vendors. It could be possibly more and we have a good, solid group of quality crafts,” Mr. McFaddin said.
The major sponsor for the event is Pepsi Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers, an organization has been involved with the program since its inception.
“Many of our volunteers have been with us all of these years,” Mr. McFaddin said. “The success of this event is not attributable to any one person. It’s a community coming together to sponsor a major event. They deserve the credit because they’ve supported us financially and enabled us to pay the bills up front. It’s really a concerted effort.”