The Bullard Family on Duck Yea wins Open Class

ATASCADERO — On Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., families headed out into the beautiful sunshine to attend the 6th Annual Friends of Atascadero Lake LakeFest. Fun was had by all ages, and there was a little something for everyone to participate in.

“Saturday was a huge success. I mean, there were so many people there. Way more than we’ve had in the past,” said LakeFest Chairperson Nancy Hair. “Of course, the beautiful weather contributed to everybody coming out. But we also had more boats this year than we’ve ever had in the past, which was a lot of fun. The competition was pretty amazing. The whole day was, I think, all about fun. Everybody had a wonderful time. There were smiles on everybody’s faces. All the kids were having a great time.”

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Award winners posed with Atascadero City Mayor Heather Moreno. Photo by Rick Evans.

The Cardboard Boat Regatta & Races were back again this year, and this family favorite event sported both an Open Class and a class for kids 13 and under. The year’s races had record-breaking numbers, with 14 entries in the Open Class and 11 in the Kids Class.


The kids who participated in the cardboard boat races spent their morning building their boats before racing them in the afternoon.

“It’s absolutely hysterical,” Hair said. “The boats that they build and the ones that sink, and the ones that don’t. I just think that is so much fun.”

The winners of the kids’ category were Ben Grenniger on Uno in first place, Noah Hendrick on Burgundy in second place, and Juddi Nickerson on God Uses Waves in third. 

The Open Class, where participants created their cardboard boats at home before bringing them to the lake, was also a big hit.

“There were some boats that went in the water and immediately sunk, so you never know,” continued Hair.

Winners of the Open Class were The Bullard Family on Duck Yea in first, Bill Hair on Big Duck in second, and Mike Dean on It’s 5 0 clock Somewhere in third.

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Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno (left) awards The Bullard Family in Duck Yea first place in the Cardboard Boat Regatta & Races at the Atascadero Lake LakeFest. Photo by Rick Evans.

Approximately 15 people entered the Fishing Derby, but in a strange turn of events, the fish weren’t biting. Only one participant, Aleeno Ortega, caught a fish, solidifying her as the winner for both classes.

“It’s so funny because people have been catching a lot of fish out of the lake lately, so that was kinda nutty,” Hair said.

There were 32 vendors at this year’s LakeFest. From food to community organizations that we all know and love. And each booth made sure to provide activities for the kids who attended the festival.

Hair attributes The Friends of Atascadero Lake partnering with The Link Family Resource Center with helping revitalize LakeFest. The event is also co-sponsored by The City of Atascadero.

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Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno (left) awards Bill Hair (center) on Big Duck second place in the Cardboard Boat Regatta & Races, part of the LakeFest. Photo by Rick Evans.

The day of fun also included 2-for-1 coupons to Charles Paddock Zoo, a DJ, live music from Way Out West, and a 50/50 raffle.

“This is not a fundraiser,” Hair said. “We’re not making any money on this. It’s a big labor of love. It promotes the Atascadero Lake; it promotes our organization and the Link. And really, that’s what it’s about.”

The LakeFest was sponsored by: Atascadero Mutual Water Company, Board of Supervisors, Home Depot, Anonymous, Mechanics Bank, Miners, Sylvesters Burgers, Planet Fitness, Atascadero 76, Don Giessinger, Charles Bourbeau, Mike Dean Automotive, and Larry and Robin Guittard.