Lots of laughs with ‘anything that floats’ race

Superheroes dominated the City Pier at this year’s build your own boat race.

Batman brought the whole Bat Family and Superman and Thor joined forces for one day at Dunkirk’s sixth annual Wreck & Roll festival Saturday, which had a superhero theme.

Many have their favorite superhero, but Mayor Anthony Dolce said he “loves them all equally.”

“We give them (contestants) a theme to work off of,” Dolce said.

Previous years’ themes were vikings and pirates.

Festival Coordinator Lacy Lawrence said all the money raised during the Wreck & Roll festival goes right “back into the festival pot” for future use.

Lawrence and her team – Festival Clerk Nicole Joiner and Intern Brandon Torrance – have never been at the festival before and it is their first year being part of the committee. They all agreed it was really exciting.

Lawrence explained the contestants make their own boats at home and haul them to the pier for the festival.

Casella Waste Systems Inc. sponsored the Wreck & Roll boat race this year. The race began Saturday afternoon with several successful boat creations.

‘Aqua Salmon,’ made by Jon Fountain and Brandon Katta, won first place in the first division.

The ‘Bat Family,’ including Jake, Tracy, Brandy, and Savannah Rednock, as well as David Leikam won first place in the second division.

Jake Rednock is a second-time winner – two years ago he won in the pirate-themed boat race.

“We were the only ones with a sail,” he recalled. “It was really fun.”

“We were planning on coming back as the Avengers or super villains for this year,” he continued. “But the guys couldn’t make it, so I had my family come instead. We are the ‘Bat Family.'”

Tracy Rednock said she enjoyed being part of the race, and wants to do it again next year.

“It went okay, but we didn’t have a whole lot of direction,” Jake said. “We did stay afloat though.”

Tracy added, they practiced in their back yard pond before the race to make sure it would float and everyone would fit.

“We decided like a week before the race on our boat design,” Jake said, adding they change the boat design every year to keep it interesting.

Fountain tested his boat earlier and said it worked much better than he and Katta anticipated. Fountain and Katta also won the viking-themed boat race last year.

“We had a similar design last year,” Fountain said. “We decided to go with the same design; only this one doesn’t have a dragon head.”

Katta added he has been doing this boat race the last four years.

“It went pretty smooth this year,” he said.

“I would’ve liked to have a better turn out,” Fountain added.

Lawrence mentioned the city is “happy they participated” this year and “everyone did a great job.”

Festival visitors also got a chance to visit the “kids zone,” check out Maximum Force Wrestling in the Park, meet WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan and listen to music from “Fallen Union” and “Hard Day’s Night,” a Beatles tribute band.

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