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Regatta ahead of last year for donations

Annual event set for Aug. 2-3

CRANBERRY TWP — The planner charged with reviving the Regatta at Lake Arthur said Thursday she’s miles ahead of where organizers where last year in terms of getting donations and sponsors.

The Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau last year hired Holly Muchnok of East Wing Events in Allegheny County to organize the event, which has suffered from declining attendance for several years in a row.

Primarily organized by a volunteer staff in the past, the regatta is a full-time job in itself, Muchnok said of the event will occur at Moraine State Park on Aug. 2-3.

Muchnok briefed the tourism bureau board Thursday morning, saying that although the regatta is in its 16th year, this is the first time the event has been organized by an outside person. And that, she said, already is paying dividends.

She has gotten $30,000 in cash donations and sponsorships and another $54,000 in in-kind contributions such as food and other services. That means she’s already has about $84,000 for the regatta compared to the $10,000 for last year’s event.

That money will go for some new events although little is set in stone. Traditional events like fireworks, hot air balloon rides and a car show likely will still be a part of the regatta.

Muchnok said she has 15 food vendors committed, and she is working on bringing a bevy of water activities such as sailing, kayaking and fly fishing demos.

“We’re thrilled to death to show you what we can do in August,” she said.

Muchnok added that she’s intent on regionalizing the event and has contacted businesses from Pittsburgh to Erie about the regatta.

“I think we’re seeing a really great revival of an event that needed a shot in the arm,” said Jack Cohen, tourism bureau president.

Muchnok said she still is planning and organizing every day, and should have a better idea soon of which activities and events will be part of the regatta.

Regardless, she said she’s determined to make the regatta the “premiere, all-ages, eco-recreational event” in the region.

“Our whole goal is to get people to look at Moraine in a new, special way,” she said.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the regatta can visit the event’s website at www.lakearthurregatta.org.

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