We had another great July 4th Regatta in King William.  Started in 1983, the Regatta is organized by the near-mythical King William Yacht Club for the happy purpose of enjoying our neighbors and our neighborhood by cruising our portion of the San Antonio River.  A great crowd showed up this year, some to power-paddle in the canoe and kayak races, others to show off their stars-and-stripes style in our leisure class, and the rest of us for the thrill of spectating. 

 This year’s Regatta participants included four paddlers who have grown up in the neighborhood.  Jared Duarte starred as our youngest homegrown paddler in a canoe with his mother, Patricia Garcia Duarte.  Madison Nye joined Bryce Milligan in the speedy canoe that won the canoe race.  Luke Laborde joined his dad Ralph Laborde in another fast canoe that just missed the trophy.  Also, neighborhood kid Alec Toland looked like a pro in his own kayak, narrowly missing the kayak race trophy that once again went to David Murphy. 

We had a high bar for the “Style” award this year.  Our own Uncle Sam proved to be a capable canoer.  Shimi and Oscar Alvarado bedazzled with patriotic glamor in a glitzy kayak.  In the end, neighbor Jim Campbell edged out the competition on a red, white and blue pin-wheeled paddleboard.  The Commodore’s fancy tri-cornered Napoleon hat received lots of compliments as a new element of the Regatta tradition.  Mike Casey should have received – but didn’t until now – special mention as the only original KWYC member who participated in this year’s paddling. 

The KWA Social following the Regatta was also a big success.  Thanks to Ethel Pedraza, Josephine Garcia, Nelda Burch and their committee for the hard work of planning and staging the event in the shade of Upper Mill Park.  Fried chicken, barbeque and frozen margaritas, plus potluck offerings from all of the neighbors who joined in, gave everyone something to celebrate.  Rudi Harst and his group captured the spirit of the event with their charming music and commentary.  Finally, the children’s games were a hit with the youngsters and their families.  (Who doesn’t love a sack race?)  Thanks to Laura Powell for planning and providing the children’s activities. 

All in all, it was a fabulous 4th of July in King William with lots of paddling, fun, food, music and games.  Thanks to all for making it happen!  We’ll do it again next year.  Contact the Commodore if you want to get on the notice list for next year’s Regatta. 

- Marita Emmett