Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Community Comes Together around First OCU Regatta

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Community Comes Together around First OCU Regatta

Article excerpt

When officials at Oklahoma City University started planning the initial regatta for its new rowing teams, the event was envisioned as just a collegiate invitational competition.

But as plans progressed and more schools, including Harvard University, committed to participate, the Head of the Oklahoma Centennial Regatta was born. The races became a community undertaking and an official Oklahoma centennial event.

And that is just the way OCU President Tom McDaniel would have it. McDaniel sees the event as a way to showcase the recently renamed Oklahoma River, other MAPS projects and Oklahoma City in general.

All non-racing events will be north of the river and west of Byers Avenue or on the bridge. The Byers bridge will be about the midpoint for the races.

Activities will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday with a riverside chapel service. Opening ceremonies come a half-hour later. The regatta is scheduled to start at 9 a.m., with races and other events throughout the afternoon. Races will include singles, doubles, fours and eights, said OCU rowing coach Mike Knopp.

Activities on Sunday will include a regatta park and Byers Bridge festival. A children's tent will feature activities for children directed by business volunteers and fishing.

Fans may watch the regatta for free. Knopp said that Oklahoma City will close the Byers Avenue bridge over the river, allowing spectators an overhead view of the races. Booths will be set up on the bridge to sell snacks and souvenirs commemorating OCU's inaugural regatta.

Parking will be available north of the river near Byers Avenue.

The Regatta Arts Festival will feature Bert Seabourn, a popular American Indian artist, and about 15 other artists.

Seabourn is creating a depiction of rowing on the Oklahoma River and will donate the original to OCU for the future boathouse. Prints will be for sale at the festival.

Community backing

What started as a collegiate invitational evolved into the Head of the Oklahoma Centennial Regatta after teams from Harvard and the University of Virginia agreed to participate. …

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