CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The third annual return of the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta is nearing completion with several events and musical acts set to get underway Saturday and Sunday.

The Great Rubber Duck Race will be held at 12 p.m. Saturday. More than 10,000 rubber ducks will be dropped from the South Side Bridge into the Kanawha River. A $5 donation for each duck went to the United Way of Central West Virginia.

Shaggy hit the main stage Wednesday night. Photo/Aaron Parker

President Margaret O’Neal previously told 580-WCHS it’s an easy and fun way to help meet the needs of people living in Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Braxton, Clay and Logan counties.

“All of it benefits the United Way of Central West Virginia, our program partners, and the great work we do inside our organization,” O’Neal said.

An umbrella decorating contest at City Center Slack Plaza at 11 a.m. The Kanawha County Public Library’s Main Branch on Capitol Street will be hosting a “Regatta Adventures” event at 1 p.m. where people can listen to live music, make crafts and race tiny boats.

The Unit performs at 6:30 p.m. as the opening act. The I Love the 90s Tour then hits the main stage at 8 p.m. The group includes rappers Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, Treach of Naughty by Nature and Young MC.

Boats fill up docks along Kanawha River in Charleston during Sternwheel Regatta.

There will be a triathlon, a classic car show and an 80s dance party Sunday.

The sternwheeler boat races kick off at 1 p.m. Sunday at Haddad Riverfront Park. Captain of sternwheeler Donna Ray, Jim Kranz, has been racing his boat and showing it off since the Regatta returned in 2022.

“It’s more than just having the boat, a person has to enjoy all of the care it takes, it’s a house, with an engine, made of steel sitting in the water, there’s just something happening all of the time to take care of,” Kranz said.

The Firemen’s Parade returns at 2:30 p.m. Sunday from the Kanawha Boulevard to Virginia Street.

Charleston Fire Captain David Hodges previously said it’s an event that firefighters from across the region look forward to each year.

“It’s a huge event for the fire service and the firefighters, it gives them bragging rights and it shows off their company pride,” he said. “They’re able to get their fire trucks, prepare them, and showcase them, and it brings everyone together for the networking.”

The parade was moved from Friday evening due to a severe thunderstorm threat.

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