The Vallejo Waterfront Weekend was back on Saturday and, being a two-day event for the first time, it was bigger than ever.
Whether it’s the whalers regatta, car show, Filipino martial arts tournament, live music, disc golf, beer, kayak tours, opera, flag football, a glo-run or the many food vendors, it seemed the waterfront event had a little something for everyone.
Organizer Jon Riley couldn’t contain his excitement early Saturday morning. While playing disc golf on Mare Island, he took a moment to marvel at the annual event.
“I think this year is the most organized we’ve ever had,” Riley said. “There are a lot of people who have mobilized and the whole community has come out. These are people who are invested in saying “Yes”. And we decided since we were going to do all this work and set up the infrastructure, we might as well do two days. After all, it’s a fundraiser.
Riley said he hopes to top the $30,000 fundraising mark.
Boyz Under The Hood Car Club was once again on hand to help with donations. Rows of cars lined the new Barbara Kondylis Waterfront Green, eyes opening wider than the Grand Canyon as they gazed at classic vehicles from decades past, including Corvettes, Chevelles and Porsches.
Jeff Singley, events coordinator for the Boyz Under the Hood Car Club, said proceeds from the car show benefited Operation Care and Comfort, a charity for veterans.
“It’s good to raise money for them and that’s the main reason we’re here today,” Singley said. “Ever since I was 16, I had a 1967 Chevelle and have been hooked on the hobby and the culture ever since. In car culture, you also meet a lot of good people and like-minded people. We just always at this event because there is a good turnout and we can raise a lot of money for the charity.
The weekend’s event kicked off with the whaleboat regatta, featuring 10 teams in three divisions. The first race of the day, in the hospitality division, pitted the Mare Island Brewing Company against the Sardine Can. The Mare Island Brewing Company won the race with a time of 5 minutes, 33 seconds.
Max Levin never competed in the whaling regatta until this year. He said it took a lot to win the race.
“Teamwork, oh my, teamwork,” Levin said. “This boat is really heavy, so you need eight people to push it. And beer. Teamwork and beer.
Fellow Mare Island Brewing Company crew member Kate LeVine agreed, adding, “Where else will you get the chance to row in a whaling race?”
The Straits of Mare Island Rowing Association was on hand to help the races, which continue on Sunday, which encouraged newcomers and novices to come and take part in open rowing on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, as well as Sunday mornings. For more information on how to join this club, visit email@example.com.
Another popular event was the Filipino Martial Arts Tournament. One of the most heartwarming and hilarious moments came when brother and sister Noah and Zoey Evangelista got into a fight, ultimately won by older brother Noah. Feeling sorry for his little sister, Noah, 10, immediately put his arm around Zoey after the fight.
“It was very nerve wracking to fight her,” Noah said with a laugh. “I didn’t want to hurt him at all. But I have been training a lot for about a year and it feels good to win. This sport is fun because I like hitting stuff and it’s very satisfying for that. It also helps with self-defense.
Zoey also won a fight earlier in the day.
“It’s a great fighting experience,” the younger sister said. “I felt good and I felt confident. I’m good at using my right hand to block and counter.
Another popular event was the Vallejo Yacht Club Kayak Tour and Rentals. Attendees could join the tour and when their GPS reached a certain ping, they would be notified about a particular landmark or area.
There was also a Kornhole tournament organized by SCI Active Network, a disc golf tournament on Mare Island near the Coalsheds and Alden Park, Verismo Opera in Alden Park, Ferry Tours, a Touch a Truck and Trade Fair, and a Beer and Wine Garden. A Glo-Run was scheduled for later in the evening on Saturday, while a Lucky Ducky Derby drawing, a Ken Sarna League football clinic and a Vallejo Police Memorial Run are scheduled for Sunday.
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said he won’t be participating in the memorial run, but was on hand Saturday to enjoy Vallejo’s event.
“Well my knees are so bad I’m going to leave that to the next generation of officers,” Williams said with a laugh.
Williams said he looked forward to eating at Earl’s BBQ and listening to live music, but said his favorite part of the event was the people.
“People and the community come together. It’s festive and it represents Vallejo,” Williams said. “It represents who we are. United Vallejo. It’s so much fun. It’s for kids, it’s for families and it’s a great time overall. And this is a great time for us as first responders to really connect… Everyone who hasn’t, get out. You will have a great time.