Summer 2002

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 From wheelbarrows turned into turtles to centipedes made of buckets, expect the unexpected at the 7th Annual Floatable Artwork Regatta and Picnic, a whimsical one-of-a-kind event sponsored by the Artwell Gallery on Sunday July 14. The Regatta will take place from 12 to 4 p.m. at John A Minetto State Park, Route 272 (Norfolk Road) in Torrington, Connecticut. Everyone is invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the free fun and the beauty of the park located at the headwaters of the Naugatuck River in the lovely Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut. Raindate is July 21. The regatta is open to would-be artists of any age who want to create art pieces for the wacky parade of floats. Entries may be anywhere from six inches to six feet in length, and almost anything that floats is eligible. A 12-year-old took the first prize "Rubber Ducky" award in 2001 with a centipede made of hand-painted buckets with red ribbon legs and feelers. The runner-up, done by a metal sculptor, was a turtle with an upside down wheelbarrow body and spades for arms and legs. Other entries included aliens on a foil-wrapped dreamscape, cellophane-wrapped frogs on a lily pad, a ring of flying fairies, and a spider-covered globe representing the World Wide Web. The crowd will also be cheering their favorite racers in the Rubber Ducky Dash, an annual favorite. Many area businesses sponsor the ducks to help support the event. There will be family fun on land, as well. The day starts with a parade led by a young King Neptune, with masks, costumes and musical instruments available for all the kids and young-at-heart adults who want to march. Area musicians often appear, taking part in the parade and providing entertainment later. Activities for children will include a scavenger hunt, relay games and workshops making hats, jewelry, paper fish and other crafts. Registration for entries to the regatta will be from 11 a.m. to noon on race day, July 14. Prizes are awarded for originality and artistic merit, but everyone who enters receives a small prize. Those who want inspiration can attend a float workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 6 at the Artwell Gallery, 19 Water Street in Torrington. Participants may bring their own materials or use those on hand at the gallery. A $5 donation is requested for the workshop. The Artwell Gallery is a non-profit volunteer organization formed in 1995 to give area artists a place to mingle. It has grown into a regional center for the visual and performing arts, with six exhibitions each year and many special events and performances. Information on the Floatable Artwork Regatta and the float workshop is available at (860) 482-5122. To learn about more summer events, and to receive a free copy of UNWIND, a 40-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the activities in the Litchfield Hills, write to the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or visit their web site at