Thursday, April 2, 2020

Sydenham River expected to be packed for WAMBO

This story is sponsored by, Dresden Meat Packers / Dresden Meat and Deli:

File photo (Tami Eagen)

Organizers are expecting the Sydenham River to be packed with boats this weekend for the annual WAMBO festivities.

Paul Dineno, the boat manager for WAMBO, said 13 boats are already registered for the show.

“I look at it as having two classes of boats – display boats and just visitors,” he said.

“The display boats are 25 of age or more and generally are wood, although I have started bringing in fibre glass boats to fill in the inner basin, which is the area east of the walking bridge.”

Dineno said this year there is “considerably more interest” out of the United States than in previous years.

“That is a good thing,” he said.

“Four or five boats are coming out of the U.S. A couple unique ones. The furthest so far is Flint, Michigan which I believe is pretty far inland.”

Dineno said there is a registration form on the WAMBO website to sign up.

“There is a form you can fill out there and send that in. There is a charge for this weekend of $25 and that is for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. So a little over $8 a night. There is hydro and water available in most areas. Essentially you just submit the form and once I have that information, I put you on the list assuming there is space. It is starting to get tight. We will give you a confirmation or let you know that there is not any more space. You pay your $25 when you get here and that’s it.”

Dineno said it is a good idea to register before making the trek to Wallaceburg.

“There is a lot of space on the south-side as well, but the water is not very deep there. Although this year that might not be the case. The water is up a lot this year.

The boat awards have been pushed from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. this as well.

“We needed more time because one of the trophies is for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ and having that cut off at noon on Saturday does not give people enough time to see what’s there and make their selection. Ballots for that are available at the registration tent behind the library.”

“There will be a ballot box to drop that in. There is a couple of draws. One is a People’s Choice and one is Captain’s Choice. That’s where all the captains that brought their boats into the display area. Everybody gets one vote and of course they vote for their own boat.”

Dineno said the more boats the merrier.

“That sea wall on the north side holds about 100 boats. If we get enough boats we can turn them so that they are stern to, rather than broadside, and that allows for more,” he said.

“One other thing, for those boats coming into the display area and that will be coming stern to, there will be staff on hand in a boat to assist them with setting their anchor. There is a phone number for the bridges, 519-359-0935. That is Parks and Recreation that does it. We want to make sure that everyone gets through quickly with minimal vehicular traffic.”

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