Kids 18 and under entered a brand new fishing derby

ATASCADERO — Friends and families headed out to Atascadero Lake Park on Saturday, May 21, for the fifth annual Lake Fest. Friends of Atascadero Lake and THE LINK Family Resource Center teamed up to bring the community not one but two events, also incorporating Children’s Day at the Park with Lake Fest. The events took place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and were co-sponsored by the City of Atascadero.

Community members watch Bremen Town perform. Photo by Rick Evans

“The Lake Fest was an idea of Don Lynge, and he actually was the person who founded the Friends of Atascadero Lake nonprofit,” said Lake Fest organizer Nancy Hair. “He looked at the lake and said it needed help and founded a nonprofit, and that’s our mission, to keep Atascadero Lake clean. A number of years ago, he thought ‘let’s have a lake fest event,’ which will help bring awareness to the lake, so that’s what we did.”

There were plenty of fun activities for all, including a live DJ, bounce houses, food, vendor booths, live music from Bremen Town, a beer and wine garden, 2-for-1 Charles Paddock Zoo coupons, and a brand new fishing derby.

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Bystanders watch the Cardboard Boat Regatta & Races. Photo by Rick Evans

“The fishing derby was new this year, and it was for kids 18 and under,” stated Hair.

Kids participating in the derby could participate in two categories. The first being for the heaviest fish overall and the other for the heaviest three fish combined.

First place for Single Heaviest Fish went to Wayatt Azelton, while first place for Three Fish Combined went to Piper Coy.

But the most well-known event at Lake Fest just might be the Cardboard Boat Regatta & Races. There are two categories: the Kid’s Class, where kids create (with materials provided to them) boats large enough for them to captain on-site, and the Open Class, for all ages, where people make their boats at home and bring them to the lake.

“We provide all the life vests and the paddles, and we also have an ocean-water certified lifeguard on duty,” Hair said. “The boats take on a little water. We also have another spotter that works with the lifeguard. They’re both on stand-up paddleboards.”

For the Kid’s Class, the winner is the first one to cross the finish line, while the Open Class is judged on three categories, with a combined point total for the win. The categories for Open Class are: first over the finish line, creativity and costumes for the boat, and how much water the boat took in while on the lake. 

First place in the Open Class went to Michael Asmundson, Tanner Drill, and Gavin Pruitt in their boat Wet Dreams. Second place went to the boat Carabella, which was built by Linda Frenchman and captained by her sister Cara Gibbon. And third place went to the Solarponics team with their boat King Candy. Carson Savino took home first place in the Kid’s Class.

All proceeds from the Lake Fest and Children’s Day in the Park will go towards upkeep and improvements in and around Atascadero Lake and will provide THE LINK Family Resource Center with new assets.