Though this year’s event is canceled, there are hopes that it will be back

ATASCADERO — For six years, the Atascadero community has headed out to Atascadero Lake for the annual Friends of Atascadero Lake LakeFest. The much-loved event has seen many cardboard boat races and fishing derbies over the years. However, this year, LakeFest has been canceled. But there are hopes that the fun-loving festival will be back as soon as next year. 

“The reason that it didn’t happen this year [is] we’ve had a couple of people drop out of our Friends of Atascadero Lake team,” said President Mark Hontz.

With a shortage of members and having Nancy Hair, who has run LakeFest for the last couple of years, stepping away from Friends of Atascadero Lake, the nonprofit group couldn’t get everything ready for this year’s upcoming event.


“We were short on manpower. We didn’t have enough people to do it this year,” said Hontz. “We realize it’s important for the city. The city loves it. This year was just a problem year for us.”

Hontz added that Friends of Atascadero Lake hope that they will be back to regularly scheduled programming next year, but that it will depend on what happens to the nonprofit. In the meantime, the group will be looking to recruit new members and start looking into ways to collaborate with other groups in Atascadero to bring LakeFest back to life. Hontz also said that Vice President Don Lynge is looking to take over heading LakeFest when it does come back.

Not only does Friends of Atascadero Lake host LakeFest, but they also help fund the pump that runs water into the lake, help get the creek water into the lake, and have cleanup days. The nonprofit group, which works alongside the city, was formed in 2013, and they’ve been part of many initiatives that help Atascadero Lake thrive.

“When we’re running this pump that we run, we spend about $1,000 a month running the pump,” added Hontz.

Currently, the pump isn’t needed to help fill the lake because the amount the rain the area has gotten over the last couple of years has kept Atascadero Lake full without any help from the group.

To find out more about Friends of Atascadero Lake, join them in their mission, or volunteer to help with future LakeFests, head to

Feature Photo: Participants compete at the Cardboard Boat Regatta & Races at the sixth annual LakeFest. Photo by Rick Evans