The largest single-day regatta in the fall racing season in New England is almost here. Join us on Saturday, October 2nd for the 43rd annual Textile River Regatta! Over 600 boats from all over New England come to the Merrimack River to compete, and over 10,000 visitors are on the edge of their seats.
This 6,000 meter race on the Merrimack starts at 8 am until 4 pm. The day is full of rowing and crowds cheering the competitors on. A full event schedule can be found on the Textile River Regatta’s official website. Keep in mind some things could change even on the day of the event, so if you attend for any particular team, you’ll want to keep up to date and double check the website in case a time slot changes.
The competitors start at the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse and then head downriver. This event is hosted by Merrimack River Rowing Association, UMass Lowell, and the Lowell High School rowing programs. Lowell and the Merrimack River are an excellent place to hold a regatta because the views from the riverside and esplanade are wonderful.
This wonderful opportunity to bring together the community also offers plenty of space for vendors to meet the thousands of visitors there to cheer on their teams.
Interested in rowing and would like to try it yourself? While you could join a rowing team or club for young and older adults in the area. The Merrimack Valley Rowing Association can be your first stop to find out how to row. During select times of the year, they offer classes such as “Learn How To Scull” or “Learn How to Sweep.“ There are a number of differences to sculling and sweeping, but one of the main and most apparent differences is that sculling allows the rower to use two oars, while sweeping you have one. If you already knew that and you have experience rowing, you can still join the Merrimack Valley Rowing Association and continue to build on that experience on your own or with a coach.
Want to get on the water, but not too into rowing exactly? That’s okay! You can also stop by the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse during select hours to rent a kayak and head onto the textile river for yourself.
As stated on the Kayak Center event page: “The UMass Lowell Kayak Center is open on weekends 10 AM – 6 PM from September through October 16! We welcome current UML students, faculty and staff. Along with renting your boat, paddle and life jacket, our staff will give you comprehensive instruction. You can choose a kayak (solo or tandem), canoe (tandem), or stand-up paddleboard for your 1 hour, 3 hours, or even the whole day. Come explore the Merrimack River with us.”
No matter if you’re an audience member, heading out to the river yourself to compete or to glide along leisurely — there is always something fun to do on the Merrimack Valley River.