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The Watkins Glen Waterfront Festival will be back on this June

Members of the Waterfront Festival Committee of Watkins Glen Promotions announced today that after a two-year absence, the Cardboard Boat Regatta and other Festival fun will fill Seneca Harbor Park on Saturday, June 18.

The Festival will open to the public at 11:00 AM with a midway of food, beverage, and merchandise vendors and the nearly-famous Concourse De Cardboard—the public display of the boats ready to compete for mildly valuable prizes and the all-important bragging rights! The boats and their crews will begin the racing heats at 2:00 PM and will continue until as many as possible cross the finish line and get soaking wet!

Laurie DeNardo, Chair of the Waterfront Festival Committee, urged cardboard crafters to “get to work” to build their sloops and barges for the Regatta. “While the covid pandemic put us on ‘pause’ for the last two years, we know that lots of mail-order cardboard has been piling up in basements and garages. Now is the time to use that material to build the ship to zip through our waterfront course,” she said.

DeNardo reminded boat builders that their entries must be constructed using ONLY recycled cardboard, duct tape, glue, and paint. Up to 50 boats will participate in the Regatta, competing for prizes in eight categories including “Fastest Time,” “Best Construction,” “Best Theme,” and the all-important, “Best Sinking.”

Stacy Husted, President of Watkins Glen Promotions, noted that the Waterfront Festival will provide a full day of fun for everyone who attends. “We are thrilled to be back in action to kick off Father’s Day weekend with this wonderful event,” she said. “The Committee has arranged for the popular band, ‘Rust’ to play at the Festival from 5pm-8pm, so everyone can celebrate the results of the Regatta!”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Applicants for the Regatta can sign up now by calling Watkins Glen Promotions at 607-535-3003, or emailing Michaela Christensen, [email protected]. Deadline for entries: Monday, June 13.

Here’s a brief schedule of the June 18 events at Seneca Harbor Park:

  • 9am-11am: Boats arrive and are arranged for display by volunteers on site.
  • 11am: Festival opens; Concourse de Cardboard open to the public.
  • 1:30pm: Captains’ Meeting 2pm: Cardboard Boat Regatta begins!
  • 5pm: Pop band “Rust” entertains!
  • 8pm: Festival concludes.

Watkins Glen Promotions is a non-profit organization producing four Schuyler County events each year. They include the Waterfront Festival in June, the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival in September, the Falls Harvest Festival in Montour Falls in October, and Watkins Glen Village Christmas in December. Visit for more information.