Madison Regatta expected to be held Friday through Sunday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Madison Regatta expected to be held Friday through Sunday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- This weekend marks the annual Madison Regatta on the Ohio River.

Madison Regatta has hosted boat races in the city of Madison, Indiana, for 64 years. The three-day festival includes air shows, fireworks, food and activities. The family-friendly event is put on by volunteers in Madison each July.

Last year, heavy rains canceled the races for the first time in the event's history.

The Madison Regatta starts Friday and goes through Sunday -- and it's expected to draw a crowd of up to 40,000. The city has faced some challenges this year -- namely the closure of the Milton-Madison bridge -- and with the event canceled all together last year, the city is counting on a good turnout.

"It's been really rough on business," said Laura Ratcliff, owner of Madison Creamery.

The month-long Milton-Madison bridge closure is something that business owners would rather forget.

"All the confusion and headaches, and people would finally get back in town after the time it took them to go around and just go home," Ratcliff said.

But with the delivery of hydroplanes along the Ohio, Madison is regaining spirits -- and momentum.

"If you blink a couple times, you're going to miss it," said Tim Torrance, Madison Regatta president.

"They are the most passionate fan base of any team or any sport I've ever seen," said Jimmy Shane, a driver.

While fans already fill the town, organizers are preparing to host even more vendors -- and the new bridge is to thank, as semis can finally cross from Milton, Kentucky.

"They would have to go to Louisville, they would have to go to Marklin and cross, and some wouldn't do that just because of the travel and gas prices the way they are," said Torrance.

And at the Madison Creamery, the more, the merrier.

"It's the perfect time for people to come back to Madison and find out what a great town it is, and hopefully buy some ice cream," said Ratcliff.

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