What IS the Sternwheel Regatta?

By: Will Jones
By: Will Jones

Many people have been going to the Regatta for years, but not many attendees actually know what a sternwheel boat actually is.

Bill Comstock has been bringing his sternwheel boat to the Regatta since 1983.

"We're going to keep coming here and tie up to this wall and celebrating the Regatta as long as they'll let us," said Comstock.

He is not alone because thousands of people go to the Regatta each year to celebrate enjoying good food and entertainment.

Bill Comstock knows his boat well, and he should. He spends a lot of hours on this boat to keep it in good shape. So we decided to get his definition of a sternwheel boat.

"It's got a wheel on the back,” said Cornstock. “That's what it is powered with. The paddle wheels move the water underneath the boat and pull it through the water."

Bill said he finds the lack of knowledge of the sternwheel boat troubling.

"If it wasn't for the sternwheel boat and this river, the town wouldn't be here,” said Cornstock. “This is what started all this."

The Regatta began in 1971 to celebrate the Kanawha River's history and the sternwheeler boats paddling along its banks.

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