Originally intended to be a sprint race in the spring of 1983, organizers had to cancel because of snow and ice and high water. The event was rescheduled to fall, the last Saturday in September, and was turned into a Head Race, a 2.87-mile row from our Botanical Garden upstream to Prospect Park. A tradition was born and we have held our event on the last Saturday in September ever since, come heat or high water.

Crews and clubs typically come to compete from all of our surrounding states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and even Colorado. Over the years, we have hosted rowers from beyond those borders, such as Harvard and Radcliff, Philadelphia and overseas. The rowers from Harvard commented on how they felt our course was similar to the Head of the Charles in terms of bridges (we have several) and curves, only they liked the more natural feeling of our river.

A hallmark of our regatta has been the artistic talent in the club. Every year, the regatta features a new design and color theme that a plays throughout our posters, programs, t-shirts, and even our medals. When we bring our past year’s posters out on display, they call to mind each distinct and wonderful year of our colorful history. We hope you can come and be a part of that history this year. You can find out more information about the event and venue via the navigation on the left.