Hubby Bryan and I just got home after a Jeep ride around Lake Okabena. Well, we couldn’t go all the way around the lake tonight, because part of the road is blocked off in preparation for the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival, which gets under way tomorrow and continues through the weekend.
Sailboard Beach (which, for those who once lived in Worthington but no longer do, is the area around where the power plant once stood) already looks festive, with the stage and beer tent already in place and food vendors already arriving.
This is the 18th year for the festival, and I can say I was there for the very first one. In fact, I was the reporter on duty for the Daily Globe the year that visionaries Bill Keitel and Jeff Hegwer realized that Lake Okabena could possibly become a mecca for windsurfers with its windy conditions and low profile and threw together a small festival. That year, I both photographed and wrote about the event and met some wonderful people who make the journey to Worthington to test the windsurfing waters.
Over the years, the Regatta has grown and evolved into a unique and very special event. It has served as the venue for several National Windsurfing Championships. I was involved with it for a number of years, helping with various aspects and organizing coverage for the newspaper, and I’ve made some wonderful friends in the process. Now I just sit back and enjoy it and am always glad to reconnect with the people I have met at past events.
The photo featured here is from the 2016 Regatta. Taken at dusk, it’s not the most colorful view of the festival, but I was struck by the sense of community as boats and people lined up along the shoreline to enjoy the evening’s musical offerings and be part of the event.
If you are in the vicinity of Worthington this weekend, I suggest you come down to Sailboard Beach and check out the sights, sounds, food and other offerings to be found there. (Yes, it’s going to be hot, but having volunteered for the event when the temp was barely in the 50s, I can tell you the heat is definitely preferable!)