2018 Madison Regatta Festival Preview

Weeklong events return with new Roostertails Music Festival

Three days of music concerts to fill up Regatta weekend


(July 2018) – The Madison Regatta will offer more than boat racing at this year’s three-day event, July 6-8, on the riverfront in Madison, Ind. Unlimited and limited boat racing will be combined with a three-day Madison Regatta Roostertails Music Festival, featuring two headliners – the Turnpike Troubadours and a return of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, based in Seymour, Ind.
Madison Regatta former president Dan Cole and Music Festival Chairman Brent Turner made the announcement Feb. 7 at the Regatta monthly meeting.

Madison Regatta Festival

June 30 - July 1: Remote controlled boats. Noon at Jefferson Proving Ground’s Krueger Lake.
June 30: Little Miss and Princess contests at noon; Miss Pre-Teen and Miss Teen contests at 5 p.m. Both events at MCHS Auditorium.
July 1: Cutie Pie and Baby Contest at Bicentennial Park. Registration at 12:30 p.m.; Contests start at 2 p.m.
July 2: Miss Madison Regatta Scholarship Pageant.
7 p.m. at MCHS Auditorium. Admission $10 at the door.
July 3: Madison Regatta-RKO Enterprises Waterball Fights. 6 p.m. on Main Street in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse.
July 3: Movie “Madison” sponsored by the City of Madison. Free. 9 p.m. at Madison Bicentennial Park.
July 4: WORX-FM’s Street Dance begins at 7 p.m. on Vaughn Drive in front of Fireman’s Park.
July 5: “Thunder Thursday” free concert at Madison Bicentennial Park. Featuring four bands from 5-11 p.m. Spare Change, Split River Band, Chris Jesse & Derick Howard, Edgar Red. Food, beer for sale in the park. Patrons cannot bring coolers or alcohol into the park.
July 6: Madison Regatta Golf Scramble.
Register at 8 a.m. Tee off at 9 a.m. at Sunrise Golf Course. Entry fee: $75.
July 6: Madison Regatta Parade. 7 p.m. on Madison’s Main Street. From Jefferson St. to Cragmont St.
July 6-7: Roostertails Music Festival
(At Madison Bicentennial Park)
• 5 p.m. - midnight Friday: Roots of a Rebellion, Brother O Brother, Quiet Hollers, Rusty Bladen, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.
• 5 p.m. - 1 a.m. Saturday: Bigfoot Yancey, Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters, J.D. Shelburne, The High Divers, Turnpike Troubadours.
• Tickets: $20 for music festival only; $35 for an all weekend pass for both racing and music. $100 for race and music four-pack. Concert gates open at 4:30 p.m.
July 7: Jane Jacobs Memorial Madison Courier 10K Run & Walk. Event begins at 8:15 a.m. at MCHS
parking lot.
July 7-8: Corn Hole Tournament. Near Jaycee Park.
July 7: Fireworks Spectacular on the Riverfront. 10 p.m. Sponsored by the American Legion and others.
• For admission wristbands and more information, call (812) 274-0400 or visit: www.MadisonRegatta.com. Also available at select retailers in town.

“Reverend Peyton had such a great time last year at our event that he offered to come back this year and cut his fee in half,” Cole said. “Together with these two headliners, we’re going to have a solid lineup for our music festival.”
Cole has since resigned his position and in May was replaced by Vice President Matt True.
“Despite the change in leadership, everything is going according to plan,” said True, 46, who works as a firefighter EMT at Dow Corning. “It’s not one person but the entire team that makes it happen.”
Reverend Peyton will headline the Friday night schedule, while the Turnpike Troubadours, a popular country western band from Oklahoma, will headline the Saturday night schedule, Turner said. Several local bands will also be featured over the weekend, including four bands kicking off the event on Thursday evening during a new, free event billed as “Thunder Thursday,” according to Turner.
The music festival will be held at Madison Bicentennial Park, which can accommodate up to 13,000 people, officials said. Thursday’s concert is planned from 4-11 p.m. and will feature the bands Spare Change, Split River Band, Chris Jesse & Derick Howard, and the Louisville-based Edgar Red. Food trucks will be available, and craft and domestic beer will be for sale inside the park all three nights. Patrons will not be allowed to bring coolers or alcohol into the park. There will also be beer tastings and a Home Brew Contest during the weekend. And the new Mad Paddle Brewery, set to open its brewery at West and Second Street later this year, will be selling its first brew, Wicked Blonde Ale.
Saturday’s headliner act, The Turnpike Troubadours is an up-and-coming band that recently sold out the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo. The band describes itself on its website as “an Oklahoma-based roots outfit that merges folk, country, bluegrass, Cajun and straight-out rock dynamics into a gritty, timeless blend.”
Reverend Peyton describes his band as “a trio that combines country blues and alternative country into a unique roots rock blend.”
“The Turnpike Troubadours are one of the top country bands out there today,” Turner said. “And Reverend Peyton is one of the biggest artists in Indiana on tour right now.”
In all, the Roostertails Music Festival will feature 12 bands, with music to begin at 5 p.m. each day and run until midnight Friday, and 1 a.m. Saturday. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m.
Fans will can choose from purchasing a $20 wristband for the music only, or a $20 wristband for the boat racing only, or a $35 all inclusive wristband for the weekend. An all weekend four-pack is also available for $100.
In December, the Regatta Committee announced a new pricing structure that will now required a $10 all-access wristband for children ages 6-14. In previous year, children under 10 were admitted free.
The Regatta Festival, meanwhile, returns with many of the usual events, including the parade, pageants, water ball fight, golf scramble, street dance, the popular fireworks show on Saturday night and the inaugural Regatta Corn Hole Tournament (see schedule, Page 7).
The parade grand marshal will be former New Albany, Ind., high school basketball star and 2018 Indiana Mr. Basketball Romeo Langford, it was announced June 6. Langford has signed to play at Indiana University next fall. He is the fourth Indiana Mr. Basketball to serve as Regatta Parade grand marshal and perhaps one of the most popular Indiana athlete in 25 years, officials say. Langford, who led his team to the 4A state championship in 2016, ranks fourth in all-time prep scoring in Indiana.

Photo provided

The popular Fourth of July Madison Regatta Parade features many floats, bands and commercial entries.

Previous Indiana Mr. Basketballs who served as parade grand marshals include Jared Jeffries and Miss Basketball Sara Nord of Jeffersonville in 2000, A.J. Ratliff of Indianapolis in 2005, and Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell of Indianapolis last year. All three previous Mr. Basketballs also played collegiate basketball at IU.
In addition to Langford, the Regatta Committee recently announced that former Cincinnati Bengals running back James “Ickey” Woods will be at the Regatta to sign autographs and promote his charity. Woods served as Regatta Parade grand marshal several years ago.
As for boat racing, the committee has announced that H1 Unlimited has accepted the Regatta Committee’s proposal to hold a points race this year and guaranteed Madison it would provide a minimum of six Unlimiteds, and possibly eight. The Unlimiteds will be joined on the water by the Grand Prix World boats, which are returning after presenting a successful program last year.
Officials did not release details of the agreement with H1 Unlimited but said it cost more than last year when the Regatta held a non-points exhibition event with only four Unlimited boats on the water.
Midwest Tube Mills, based in Madison, was announced in January as this year’s title sponsor of the 2018 Regatta after pledging support of $50,000. This year’s race will be called the Midwest Tube Mills 68th Indiana Governor’s Cup.
The Regatta committee received $25,000 of that sponsorship money back in February and used $15,000 of it to hire bands in preparation for this year’s event. The committee also received an anonymous donation of $5,000 to go toward paying off its outstanding debt of $43,082.
The committee announced it would again hold a golf scramble fundraiser that will pair each foursome with a celebrity boat driver – either from the Unlimited or Grand Prix World circuits. The golf scramble is scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday, July 6, at Sunrise Golf Course in Madison. Cost will likely remain the same as last year at $75, he said.
Wristband sales and campsite reservations are available on the new Madison Regatta website.
As of a few months ago, the committee had 54 paid members, which was high compared to recent years.
Enthusiasm in the group runs high. True said, “By adding a two-day music festival to our boat racing, we are giving our guests a great opportunity, since we have the largest footprint of any of the other festivals down there. I think we’re offering a cram-packed festival weekend that we’ve ever had here, and I’ve lived here all my life.”
True has been with the Regatta committee for seven years, starting out as a safety rescue director, then race chairman and then vice president last year. Although he was due to move up to president this year, he said he asked Cole to stay on another year “so we could move forward in getting our bylaws straightened out and correct some issues with our wristband sales process.”
He said the committee already is negotiating with the H1 Unlimited Series for next year’s race weekend.
As for this year, True said in June that wristband sales are ahead of last year, and the committee has about $60,000 in the bank. “We have cash in the bank, and that’s always a good thing.”
The committee finished last year about $40,000 in debt, following two years of flooding or poor weather. Last year’s race weekend featured only four Unlimiteds running in exhibition, non-points laps on the Ohio River.
Committee members were determined to bring back the Unlimiteds this year to compete in an official H1 Unlimited points race, and they have succeeded in reaching that goal.

“We’re looking really good right now,” True said at the mid-June Regatta Committee meeting. “In my seven years with the Regatta, this is the most prepared that I can remember.”

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