The Rotary Club of Cape Coral will be holding its annual Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta next weekend - three days at Four Freedoms Park.
The Nauti-Skippers Boat Club put on the first race in 1994 with only members of the club participating. The following year the Merry Mariners challenged the Nauti-Skippers to see who could build the fastest boats. The race then opened up the third year to any boat clubs located in the area.
In 2004, the Rotary Club took over the event and opened it up to businesses, schools, youth groups, groups of friends and non-profit organizations who wanted to design a cardboard boat and participate in the race.
The crew from Lamar Advertising competes during last year’s Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta.
The event is very unique, Rotary Club President Timothy Hauck said, which is what makes it so special.
He said the cardboard boat race is a riot because some sink and others stay afloat.
"Some of the designs are pretty amazing," Hauck said.
What: Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta
When: April 15-17
Where: Four Freedoms Park
Cost: Free admission
Information: www.capecoralregatta.com or call 239-245-0021
Boats will be on display from 5-10 p.m., Friday, April 15, for construction judging awards. An opening ceremony will begin at 5:45 p.m. Friday night.
A fish fry dinner with shrimp will be served for $14 on Friday also.
Jim Perry, chairman of the event, said there will be between 20-25 boats racing on Saturday, which may change due to last-minute registration.
"Some people sink, which is always fun to watch," he said.
The boat races will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 16. The 50/50 raffle winners and award ceremonies will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday as well.
For the first time the Rotary Club extended the event by including the SunCoast DockDogs event.
Perry said owners of the DockDogs throw either a Frisbee or a ball for the dogs as they jump off the dock. They are judged on how far or how high they jump off the dock.
"It's a really fun event to watch," he said.
Anyone can bring their dogs to participate in DockDog 101, Perry said for a $15 donation.
The SunCoast DockDogs competition will be held Friday and Saturday, with the finals beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Hauck said he hopes the weather will be outstanding next weekend so families can have a good time around the water.
"It is a great event in the downtown CRA district," he said. "A wonderful family event and it's free."
Hauck said the event has been hugely successful due to its attendance with upwards of 8,000 people in the crowd last year.
Perry said the event helps them raise money for the various projects the Rotary Club does for the community.