Raft races, dragon boats delight at Riverfest

Published 5:53 pm Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Massimo’s Pizzeria dragon boat team‘s 2010 defeat in the championship race was avenged Saturday afternoon at Niles Riverfest when it pummeled the Dragon’s Wake paddlers from South Haven.

Known last year as Triple Threat, Dragon’s Wake’s last two race times were bested by the Niles pizza joint’s team; their times from the two races averaged 1.32.08 and 1.36.18.
Taking third place was the Gutters; fourth, Majerek’s; fifth, Niles High School Band; and sixth, World Dragons.

The muggy, hot weather didn’t subside during Riverfest, which lasted Thursday through Sunday, although dragon boat racers felt some rain, as did participants in the “Anything that Floats” Raft Race on the St. Joseph River.

The theme for the race this year was “Music.” Rafts included a KISS-themed raft complete with a costumed “KISS Army;” a “Dirt Road Anthem”-themed raft using half of a pickup truck; and a Michael Jackson-themed raft that spewed smoke. About 15 rafts took to the water this year.

Other events included a car and truck show; live music; a silent action; and daily pancake breakfasts in addition to arts and crafts booths and food vendors.