VENTNOR – Considering the amount of volunteer manpower it takes to put on a special event like the Ventnor Go Green Boat Parade, participation could have been better. Participation has dropped from more than 100 entries a few years ago to just a handful this year. But due to the low numbers, there were plenty of prizes to go around, and participants had fun coming up with themes and decorating their vessels.
Participants in four categories – single, pairs, groups and youths – took off at 5:45 p.m. from Ski Beach at Dorset Avenue and the bay, and paddled their way around the canal to the judging station at Derby Hall, the historic boat club that is now the Zapp family residence. There, the judges, which included this reporter and St. Leonard’s Association members Bill Sill and Ann Corrigan, scored the entries according to strict criteria: was it fun and did the participants use people power to move their kayaks and paddle boards along the entire 1-mile route?
One large and lively group dressed up in tie-dye T-shirts and bandanas to reminisce the three-day festival of peace and music, Woodstock, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Another duo dressed up as the characters in the Pixar animated film, “Up.” Another colorful entry was the Birthday Party contingent, a trio of kayakers towing a smaller kayak filled with birthday presents.
Some of the homeowners who live along the canal decorated their homes and cheered the paddlers along the route. Spectators gathered on the Dorset Avenue bridge to wave to the participants in the water below.
The parade ended at Doc Holland Boathouse at the Ventnor Rowing Club, where participants were awarded prizes donated by local merchants and enjoyed hot dogs, soft pretzels and drinks served up by Green Team volunteers.
The winners are:
Youth Division – 1st place, Lily and Guy Wineland and Olivia and Bill Carlin, Dragon Boat; 2nd place, Christina Ritondo, Elli and Cani Ostroff, Birthday Party
Pairs – 1st place, Colin Fuentes and Jake Greenberg, Disney’s “Up”; 2nd place, Ilana and Seth Scholl, This Is Us; 3rd place, Herman Weinrich and Matt Brsack, Wise Guys
Groups – Steve Jasiecki, Carol Beckmenn, Tracey Orledge, Lisa Johnson and Jessica Birkbeck, Rowing to Woodstock; 2nd place, Christine, Jack, Luke and Reid Chickadel; 3rd place, Cate, Caleb and Bruce Kasseket.
Sponsors: AAAABike Shop, Agnes Cafe, American Youth Enterprise, Capri Pizza, Craig Carey Band, Custards Last Stand, DownbeachEvents.com, Drift Day Spa, Grand Printing, Milton & Betty Katz JCC, Newport Marine Paddle Board & Kayak Rental, Original Photography by Bernard, Rain Florist, Red Room Cafe, Howard Rubin, St. Leonards Association, Ship Shop, Ventnor City, Ventnor Farmer’s Market, Ventnor Heights Auto & Marine, Ventnor Recreation Department.