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Festival organizer to city: Yagatta make it happen

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent file photo/Kelley Cox
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. An annual ode to the river – with a splash of whitewater sports, music, food and more.That’s how Tom Boas foresees Glenwood Springs’ Yagatta Regatta. And he’s asking the city of Glenwood Springs for funds to support the event.”This is the only event that specifically has to do with the river here,” said Boas, Yagatta Regatta organizer. “There’s a 50-50 chance there could be no more Regatta.”Boas submitted a tourism promotion application to the city for $20,000 in funds, $10,000 of which goes to the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park Association. The organization is behind the building of a new whitewater park in Glenwood Springs.”We’ve committed $10,000 to Whitewater Park. It’s time now for the city of Glenwood Springs to step up to the plate and decide if this is something we want to have in our community,” Boas said. “The request would help build funds for the next year, and the next year. It’s self-perpetuating.”Boas would like the Yagatta Regatta to take place every year in the first weekend in June at Two Rivers Park. He sees the one-day whitewater flotilla on the Colorado River expanding to a three-day festival centered around whitewater activities.”We’ve got four years of proven growth. Yagatta Regatta needs support now,” Boas said. “This thing could happen in 103 days, but it takes a lot of work to run a festival. I’m just scared it’s going to go away for all the wrong reasons.”

In past years, the Yagatta Regatta has directly benefited Cooper Corner Adult Day Center.”Last year, the Yagatta Regatta made over $10,000 for Cooper Corner. But the annual budget was more than $100,000″ he said. “There just weren’t enough grants.”The nonprofit center closed Dec. 31, and its board – which normally helped with the Regatta – disbanded.”Everybody always said (Cooper Corner) was a good idea,” Boas said. “It was hard for us to get clients and impossible for us to get funding. If we would have had 30 clients, we could have gotten more grants. But we had less than a dozen.”The Yagatta Regatta was created to help publicize Cooper Corner’s role in the community. Now that the center no longer exists, Boas hopes the Regatta does the same for the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park Association.”This is kind of a kickoff thing for them,” he said. “Cooper Corner’s gone, but I’ll be darned if Yagatta Regatta is going away. There’s too much potential.”Boas said the event will continue to feature the raft flotilla and spirited costume contest, as well as live music, a beer tent and food. But he also envisions professional kayak and fly-fishing demonstrations, industry vendor booths, and a kickoff concert Friday night as part of the weekend’s festivities.

“The purpose is to get people to come into Glenwood Springs for three days,” Boas said. “We’re going to market it all over the state, which we’ve never done before. We want tourists to come to the valley. It’s ideal timing, the first weekend in June. You couldn’t get any better – the hotels and restaurants are empty, the water is running high.Boas is hoping City Council will review and decide on his request at Thursday’s meeting. He said it’s a win-win situation for Glenwood Springs.”If I sit around and wait, I have this sinking feeling there’s not going to be a festival,” Boas said. “How can this not help everyone? I don’t see how it couldn’t help the restaurants, hotels, rafting companies.”Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601aclark@postindependent.com



Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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