WAGRAM — Organizers of the annual Chalk Banks Challenge hope that the event’s delay due to stormy weather won’t dampen enthusiasm for take two of the event this weekend.
The event, sponsored by the Scotland County Tourism and Development Association, will be held at the Lumber River State Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature numerous activities both in and out of the water.
The day was created as a way to promote the state park and get people out of doors and enjoying the natural surroundings of the park and warm spring weather. The Challenge now has the added benefit of being held the day before Father’s Day giving residents who enjoy the outdoors another way to spend time with dad, according to Roylin Hammond one of the event’s organizers.
The regatta, canoe and kayak races were originally scheduled for May 19 but had to be postponed due to forecasted thunderstorms.
“It’s supposed to rain every day this week, but I don’t think we’ll cancel it this time. The last time we canceled, it was because of lightening,” said Hammond. “Rain is not a problem; you’re going to get wet anyway if you’re on a raft. It takes about an hour and a half to get down river, and we didn’t want people in the water if a thunderstorm popped up.”
Hammond hopes all of the extra rain will make for higher water and better races.
Activities originally planned for the day will go on as usual minus the canoe and kayak races. The company who handles those races for Wagram had a prior obligation and could not reschedule.
All other events which had been arranged are still on track. Organizers didn’t want to disappoint locals who look forward to the event and the groups who have worked to build rafts for the regatta, according to Hammond.
“People have gone to the trouble to build these rafts, and we wanted make sure they have the opportunity to use it. In some cases, it looks like people put in 100 hours of work,” Hammond said. “We know we have five fire department rafts, and I don’t know how many private rafts.”
The fire departments and personal raft races will be run in two separate regattas.
Scotland County Parks and Recreation will still hold the foot races it had planned for the original Challenge event. Races include a: 5K trail run for age groups from under 12 to over 55 years old and a youth cross country championship U12 & U18. The foot race entry fee is $25.
Parks and Rec is also sponsoring men’s high heeled foot race which might be the highlight of mom’s weekend.
The race is a funny, exciting way to get dads involved in the activity and get everyone laughing and having fun watching men struggle to do what many women do every day, according to Bryan Graham director of Parks and Recreation.
There will also be nature exhibits about what can be found in the park.
The day will also feature activities for the little ones including a bounce house and a Kid’s Olympics. Olympic events will include an old fashioned hollering contest and a wet T shirt contest.
“That’s kind of a misnomer. What they’ll be doing is soaking the T shirt in water and trying to fill up a jar by wringing it out,” Hammond said.
When attendees are tired and hungry from all the activity, they can sit back and enjoy music and dishes from food vendors one of which features collard green wraps and fried chicken.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169