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Boats racing in America's Cardboard Cup Regatta
Cardboard Cup Regatta, Crystal Lake, Illinois. Photo courtesy America's Cardboard Cup Regatta

America's Cardboard Cup Regatta

The America's Cardboard Cup Regatta is held every year on the last Saturday in June in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The year 2000 will mark its 16th birthday. Over 6,000 people gather on Crystal Lake's Main Beach to enjoy food, fun, boats and a great day of racing. While the hundreds of boats race with competitors from as far away as New Zealand, live music, food and entertainment provide fun for everyone. Many large corporations, such as McDonalds, Citicorp, and Sage Products, sponsor this race.

The race is unique in many ways, primarily because all boats are built from cardboard; no metals or plastics are permitted, and each boat is inspected prior to the race. Along with the America's Cardboard Cup going to the winner of the race, other awards include "The Most Spectacular Sinking Award," "Most Creative Theme Boat Award," "Most Attractive Boat," "Most Enthusiastic Crew Award," and "The Kiddie Cup." The most impressive part of this day, however, is that every dollar raised is donated to various community charities in the Crystal Lake, Illinois, area. In 1999, a record $35,000 was raised during this one-day event.

Documentation includes a unique three-dimensional shadow box featuring highlights from the event, shirts, a videotape, a button, and brochures, handbill, invitations to a pre-race party, and ticket to the Regatta.

Originally submitted by: Donald A. Manzullo, Representative (16th District).



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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