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Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Bands, not boats will make noise

Save the Lake Musicfest

By William Kincaid
CELINA - Although there won't be any hydroplane boat engines roaring on Aug. 28 near Lake Shore Drive, the Governors Cup Regatta committee intends to bring a little noise anyway.
The committee is hosting a free "Save the Lake Musicfest" in lieu of the canceled regatta. All proceeds from beverage, food and other sales will be donated to the Grand Lake Restoration Initiative, a nonprofit group raising money to find cures for the lake.
"We should do something even if we can't put the boats in the water," Allen Baskett, regatta committee co-chair, said.
This year's regatta, which would have been the 15th annual on Grand Lake, was called off late last month due to lake water conditions.
The cancellation came just weeks after the EPA issued an advisory telling the public to stay out of the water, including boating, and to not eat fish from the water. The advisory is due to this summer's massive blue-green algae blooms, which are producing harmful toxins and creating a rancid odor.
The state also ceased patrols of the lake in an effort to protect the health and safety of its employees, state officials said. Baskett said Ohio Department of Natural Resources employees are crucial to the regatta because they provide security around the racing course.
After canceling the event, Baskett said several city and chamber officials from near Indian Lake wanted Celina to move the race there. But the committee denied the requests, as it felt the event was the sole propriety of Celina, he said.
Moving the race to Indian Lake would have been an insult to both the community and sponsors, Baskett added.
So instead
of racing on Aug. 28, the committee decided to use the date and location to raise money for Grand Lake.
From 1 to 11 p.m., bands The Niche, MoBlues, Bob & Ed and Country Mile will perform at Lakeshore Park. There will be food, beer, games, contests and hydroplanes on display.
Admission is free and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. No pets or coolers are allowed.
The 2011 Inboard World Championships of the American Power Boat Racing Association is still scheduled to take place in Grand Lake.
"We're still the host for the world championships next year," Baskett said.
Baskett said it is the committee's expectation that the lake will heal over the winter and Celina will not have another summer like this one.
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