Smithfield River Rat Regatta, Cardboard Boat Race, Returns In August

SMITHFIELD– After being delayed and then canceled in 2019 due to weather and the 2020 event being scrubbed due to the COVID-19, the Smithfield Yacht Club will open once again for the River Rat Regatta on the Neuse on Saturday, August 14 at 4:00 p.m. The event will feature a race between 2-person teams in cardboard boats from Smithfield’s Boat Ramp on N. Front Street to the Deputy C. Paul West, Sr. Bridge.

The boats must be constructed entirely from corrugated cardboard, glue, and duct tape. Entries will compete in either the Youth (under 13) or Adult division, and prizes will be awarded for the fastest 1st and 2nd in the Youth division and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Adult division. There will also be overall awards given for Best Decorated and the Titanic Award for most memorable sinking. Rules and registration forms are available at bit.ly/riverratregatta.

“We had a great turnout for the first River Rat Regatta in 2018, with thirty-three creative and mostly well-built boats, and an enthusiastic crowd cheering the teams on toward the finish line,” stated Gary Johnson, Smithfield Parks & Recreation Director. “After not being able to have the regatta for two years, we can’t wait to see the entries that people have been working on.”

Awards will be given at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by live music from Blind Joy, a local classic rock band, until 9:00 p.m. 

The River Rat Regatta is hosted by Smithfield Parks & Recreation, the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation, Smithfield Police Department, and Smithfield Fire Department. For more information about the event or to register, please visit bit.ly/riverratregatta.

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