NITRO, W.Va. — The biggest lake in Kanawha County will be a big center of fun when Nitro holds its annual Ridenour Regatta on Saturday, July 20, at Ridenour Lake. From noon until late in the evening, Ridenour Park will bustle with kayak and standup paddleboard races, mountain bike race, games for children and adults, recorded and live music, and a classic scary movie.

"We hope this big celebration will help more people become familiar with our beautiful Ridenour Lake," Jim Caudill, president of the Nitro Fairs and Festivals Commission, said. "We intend to hold the Ridenour Regatta annually, and this is just the first of many events that will make Nitro more of a destination for visitors."

The day's events will include the Anything That Floats Race at 1 p.m. and a paddleboard race at 2 p.m., as well as instructions on paddleboarding and a standup paddleboarding demonstration with tricks.

"Paddleboarding can be a leisurely, low-impact activity for people of any age or athletic ability or they can progress to racing, surfing or taking on whitewater," said Evan Young, co-owner of Appalachian Boarding Company and state director of the American Canoe Association. "It's as much thrill or chill as you make it."

Other activities will include corn hole and disc golf games. Inflatables will be available for children. In addition, various craft vendors, including face-painting and caricature artists, will be there to add to the day's fun.

DJ Undertaker will begin playing recorded music at noon. Beginning at 5 p.m., three bands will play on the gazebo stage. They will include: Hollow Band, Mello Fellows and Poser Joe. At dark, the movie "Jaws" will be shown.

In addition to the Saturday events, a catfish tournament will be held on Friday, July 19, from 6 until 11 p.m. Tournament sign-up begins at 4:30 p.m. at the gazebo. The cost will be $15 per person for a chance to win cash and trophies for highest total weight for best five fish. Children younger than 12 years old can enter free. There will be a two-pole limit for each contestant. The lake will be stocked with big catfish earlier in the week.

Ridenour Lake covers 27 acres in the 43-acre Ridenour Park, which is located at the end of 21st Street in Nitro.

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