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Yagatta Regatta a floater’s free-for-all

For four years they have been bringing in the boats from the river, making sure they dock safely and getting everyone unloaded.To Ben Holzmann and Tom Boas, the two boat attendants at Glenwood’s fourth annual Colorado Yagatta Regatta, it is a job they love, and they do it for an event they love even more.”We are happy to be part of it,” Boas said. “This is the first festival of the season. It’s like the kickoff for summer. Now there’s Strawberry Days and Summer of Jazz on Wednesday nights – we are off and running.”

“It’s getting to be a Glenwood event,” Holzmann added. “This the fourth one, and they just keep getting bigger.” The duo herded in more than 30 boats carrying anywhere from seven passengers to singles in kayaks on Saturday, reining them into the celebration at Two Rivers Park that included 14 breweries, six bands and fun games for families as well.”Seventy-five to 80 percent of the people have done it every year,” Boas said. “They realize how fun it is and keep coming back.”The event started on Saturday with rafters meeting at Grizzly Creek to get instructions on how to safely navigate the river.

“We get up and do the safety talk before they get in – make sure everyone’s got their jackets, they understand about the bridges and staying away from the sides,” Boas said.In a light-hearted, good-spirited celebration benefiting Cooper Corner Adult Day Stay, rafters spent the morning and afternoon taking in the sun as they floated down the mud-churned Colorado River. Most of the event’s participants were decorated in festive attire including cowboy hats, Hawaiian gear, jailbirds, a ship sporting a Confederate flag and squirt-gun-toting riders and, of course, Michael Jackson and his Neverland boat full of boys, portrayed by a group of local Glenwood women.The same group designed a Pope-mobile raft for the Yagatta Regatta last year, and dressing up and going for the most humorous theme of the day is something the ladies take very seriously – especially Michael Jackson, who made quite an entrance.”When we pulled up at the rest area at Grizzly Creek, she had a body guard, they had masks on. They pulled up and got out of the car jamming to the music,” said Susan Malek, one of the members of the group dressed in a boy scout uniform. “It was so funny. They had the umbrella and everything.”



Shannon Rogalski, a Glenwood local and first-timer at the Regatta, rode a self-described “blow-up ducky thing” – kind of like an inflatable kayak – on the Roaring Fork on Saturday before taking out at Two Rivers.”It was good; it was a blast. It’s flowing good. If you like the fast and the fun, it’s a good time,” Rogalski said as they prepared to join the revelry up the hill from the river.Another group who made an apperance on the water was the Glenwood Defiance rugby team, fielding 16 ruggers in three boats, which were noticeable on the water with a make-shift upright fastened to the stern.”It’s always fun to go out there,” said Tim Swanson, who plays for the team and paddled in his second Regatta. “We start the season next week, so we are just out having fun this week.”


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