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IPFW RiverFest focuses on fitness with runs, boat races, more along St. Joseph River

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Fun on the water

What: IPFW RiverFest will feature activities on the St. Joseph River, such as a cardboard board regatta and boat rides, and events on land, including a Mud Run, live bands and food vendors.
When: 8:30 a.m.-midnight
Where: IPFW, 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E. Activities have moved farther north along the river this year because of construction at the campus entrance at Anthony and Coliseum boulevards.
Cost: Free admission, but some events and food and vendor items have fees.
Information: www.ipfwriverfest.org

Festivities have moved a short distance north on IPFW campus because of construction

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 12:01 am

Thought the Cardboard Boat Regatta sounded like fun at this year's IPFW RiverFest, but you just didn't get around to making an entry?

No problem. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, you'll have about two hours to put together a cardboard boat at the festival and launch it in the St. Joseph River.

It's all part of the fun at the annual event, which takes place from 8:30 a.m.-midnight Saturday on the IPFW campus along the river.

The festival seeks to preserve, protect and promote use of Fort Wayne's rivers by creating public awareness and having fun.

There are some changes for this year's event, which organizers announced this spring:

•The location has moved farther north on the IPFW campus because of construction at the entrance at Anthony and Coliseum boulevards.

Festivalgoers will have to enter campus using the Crescent Avenue and St. Joe Road entrances. Most events and activities will take place in the area west and south of the Visual Arts Building, Rhinehart Music Center and Williams Theatre.

The move actually works out well for the festival because it gives it more land and shade for events and activties, said Sarah Payne, RiverFest project manager for IPFW. The new location also moves activities closer to more parking than was available near the Anthony-Coliseum entrance, including nearby Parking Garage 3.

•One of the new RiverFest events will be a Mud Run, which starts at 8:30 a.m.

As of Tuesday, not as many people had signed up as organizers expected, but they still can sign up, Payne said.

Entry fee is $50, and you must be ages 16 and older to participate. Pre-register at www.ipfwriverfest.org, or register Saturday morning beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Rhinehart Music Center.

The festival also focuses more on health and fitness this year, with other new events including a 400-meter Kids Run at 8:45 a.m., yoga and Zumba fitness at 9 a.m., and a free Fun in Motion area open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. with a bounce house, boat slide and more for ages 5-12.

•The festival's first Cardboard Boat Regatta launches at 10:30 a.m. in the St. Joseph River near the Venderly Family Bridge, just after the official opening ceremonies. Teams must design, build and race a cardboard boat powered by a crew of one to 10 people.

Regatta events will include fastest boat and which boat stays afloat the longest.

So far, about 15 crews have registered for the competition, and organizers hope to see many more cardboard ships hit the water Saturday, Payne said.

Late-comers or those who want to dive in after seeing the action can enter the “Build-On-Site” category: Beginning at 10:30 a.m., you must build a one- or two-person cardboard boat with materials provided and set sail by 1 p.m.

Registration fees are $25, 1-2 people; $50, 3-5 people; and $75, 6-10 people. Event sponsor Kelly Box & Packaging will provide free corrugated cardboard to the first 15 paid registrations in each size category.

To register, learn cardboard boat building tips and get more information, go to https://new.ipfw.edu/offices/alumni/cardboard-regatta.html.

Other fun

A Farm to Fork area will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with a farmers market, vendors selling locally produced products, a petting zoo, pony rides and farm machinery. FoodFest, with 20 food vendors, is open 9 a.m.-11 p.m.

The family-friendly 4K Walk/Run starts at 9 a.m.; FamilyFest kids activities for ages 7 and younger run 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; artist booths are open 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; and live music plays 2-11 p.m. on the MusicFest stage.

On the river, enjoy canoe races at 9 a.m.; free canoe, kayak, paddleboat and pontoon boat rides 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and a ski and wakeboard show at 8 p.m.

Boat owners are invited to take part in a flotilla at 9 p.m., which will be followed by fireworks at 9:45 p.m.