By Rebecca LaBorde
Hundreds of people in the community were out and about this past weekend. Some participated in a variety of athletic events while others enjoyed watching the action.
In Great Valley, many people were spotted in costume floating down the Allegheny River. “The (Great Valley) River Regatta is considered the first fling of the summer,” said Don Howard, owner of King’s Market. This was his 37th year in the regatta.
People come to camp for the entire weekend, but Saturday was the main event. People put boats in the water all day long. Some even try to outdo each other with costumes or funny hats.
Pete Stechor has been participating in the regatta for seven years “just because it’s fun.” His crew called themselves the “Order of Raccoons.”
If you regret not participating in this regatta, you can still sign up for the Falling Leaves Regatta and dice run down the Ischua Creek in Hinsdale on Sept. 8 from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Less than 10 miles away, over 200 runners maneuvered their way through the trails of Allegany State Park at the Allegany Adventure trail run. At the end of the course, there was a very steep climb that challenge the runners, who looked pleased with themselves but extremely tired.
Tom Kapturowski has been participating for 10 years. He said, “I’ve never won, but I always finish in the top 20.” He also mentioned that part of the proceeds from this event are donated to various charities.
A few miles down the road from the adventure run, several teenagers were picking up trash along the road. Mr. Schabloski, teacher and leader of the Eco Club (Environmental Conservation Association of Students), said this is their fourth year cleaning up public land. When his group isn’t volunteering to clean up, they go on hiking expeditions.
Another group participating in the first ever “I Love My Park” day was refurbishing the spring water area. Gary Quattrone, Allegany State Park manager, said, “This is a New York statewide initiative to clean up state parks.” Each state park has a friend’s group and ASP’s friend’s group spearheaded the local initiative. The ASP Historical Society was responsible for the new sign at the spring water area, and Sherwin & Williams donated time, energy and paint for five cabins.
Other trails were being used that day as well. The Crosspatch Ranch had 21 riders participate in their fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Their trail ride had a few obstacles of its own. Due to the late winter storm a couple of weeks ago, there were many trees down and blocking the trail. The riders had to go around several dropped trees or wait until Jim Little, owner of The Crosspatch, cleared the way. At the end of their trip, they enjoyed a nice lunch and the camaraderie of their fellow riders.
Elaine Pfohl stated, “I wouldn’t miss it. I’ve been coming here since I was 16 years old.”
Whether floating down the river or enjoying miles of trails, this weekend was a great kick-start to summer with plenty more rides, runs and paddling adventures to come.