More Than Just a Boat Race

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It’s 10:30 a.m., typically obstreperous students are eerily serious on the Indianapolis canal, some pacing, others gathered in huddles talking strategy. They’re gearing up for a long-awaited yearly canoe race down the man-made canal. It’s Regatta Day. 

Beginning in 2009, the IUPUI Regatta is an annual canoe relay-style race taking place near campus on the Indiana Central Canal. According to Jovana Dodevska, Executive Director of the Regatta, this is the second year that the race will take place in time trials instead of heats to lessen chaos on the water. 

The event, which acts as IUPUI’s homecoming event, started with merely 84 teams but now welcomes between 150-200 teams yearly, including a newly added fourth division: IU Campus Division. 

Participants of the Regatta take off down the canal in the eleventh annual event. Photo by: Nicole Reitz

“The Regatta involves more than just IUPUI,” said IUPUI junior Brianna Mulrooney. 

The Regatta raises money that goes towards the Davis IUPUI Regatta Scholarship, awarding $10,000 to students that demonstrate outstanding academic performance, financial need and leadership. Money is also rewarded to Regatta Royalty for showcasing similar qualities. The IUPUI Regatta Court Royalty Contest winners are each given $500 scholarships. The remaining money raised for the Regatta goes back into production of the event the following year.

While it may seem like everyone is partaking in the heart of the Regatta, an equally enticing festival takes place in Military Park simultaneously. Following the 10 days anticipating the race, vendors set up shop next to the canal, leading everyone on campus to feel like they have a reason to attend. 

Not only is live music performed, multiple artists have pop-up shops, a culture fair and food vendors are displayed.

“I’m a junior and this was my third year attending Regatta. I [enjoyed seeing] the IUPUI Bookstore, coffee trucks [and] many food vendors,” Megan Gramlin said. 

Family oriented fun is also present, with a bounce house and PBS displays for kids of all ages.

The most important member of the family isn’t left out either as  a gourmet dog treat booth was also present. An annual dog costume contest was also held for dogs to participate in.

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