CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Sternwheel Regatta officially kicked off at noon Wednesday and will be filling up the Capital City with a plethora of activity until Sunday.

Charleston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President and CEO Tim Brady said after all of the anticipation, the third year is finally here again since the Regatta came back to the city in 2022.

“You know, there’s been all of this build-up and now finally tents are up, food vendors you can smell them, you’ve got all of the activity on the Boulevard,” Brady said.

The Charleston CVB has joined the state Department of Tourism in their airstream mobile visitor’s center on the corner of Court Street and the Kanawha Boulevard for the five days of the Regatta.

Brady said they have partnered with the tourism department to share information with people about activities to do while in the city for the next five days. The department of tourism was also promoting things to do around the region.

Brady said between the CVB and the tourism department, they should really be able to increase visitor involvement during the event and beyond.

“This is a great collaboration and we’re very appreciative of Secretary Ruby and the department of tourism for bringing this down and partnering with us to service all of these visitors that are coming to town for the Sternwheel Regatta,” Brady said.

And of course there’s also a place to get some Regatta apparel while in the city for the event.

St. Albans-based Corporate Identity, Inc. sets up shop during Regatta

Tim Beavers was set up along the Boulevard with his St. Albans-based shop, Corporate Identity, Inc. He said they design all of their own wholesale promotional products and apparel such as t-shirts, hoodies, coozies and more.

Beavers said they have been selling their products every year at the Regatta since it came back. He said they have been very successful with those sells at the Regatta despite some unpredictably from the weather.

“Last year our sells were increasing over the previous year until the storms hit, and that was a little hamper on the revenue,” he said.

However, he said they anticipate this year to be really successful.

Beavers said they enjoy the energy that the event brings.

“It is a labor of love, it’s a lot of fun seeing the people, it’s a lot of fun seeing the entertainment, and being out in the sunshine and not stuck in the office,” Beavers said. “It is a long day though, 12, 14 hours of standing on your feet, so that’s kind of tough, but meeting all of the nice people that comes around overshadows that.”

Brady said they hope the rain and storms hold back for most the Regatta this time around, however, no matter what, he said it should be another successful year.

“I mean, weather permitting, the event will only continue to grow, we’re obviously monitoring the weather to see what happens,” Brady said. “But, the great thing about these annual events is that as more people come and enjoy them, then they’re just telling their friends and their families.”

In 2022, the Regatta brought in 210,000 people and $31 million to the Capital City. Last year, it brought in over 220,000 people and over $37 million.

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