By David Highfield

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BRIDGEWATER (KDKA) — A regatta happens on the water, but too much water over the winter and spring has forced the regatta in Beaver County to be cancelled.

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Much of park that’s normally used for the festivities has been condemned thanks to flooding.

Beautiful as the Beaver River is, parts of Bridgewater Riverfront Park are not so beautiful these days.

The president of the Beaver County River Regatta says the damage is extensive.

The flood waters tore away concrete blocks in the seating area, the boardwalk – fenced off last year because of warped and missing boards – looks no better, and the stage area for bands is also restricted.

All of it condemned by the borough.

Beaver County River Regatta, bridgewater, beaver county, flood damage

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Bryce Lutz)

“When we made the decision to call it off, and trust me, it was a very hard decision to make because we’ve done it for so long, and then you kind of get a momentum up and you don’t want to lose that momentum,” said Regatta President Doug Margetic.

But organizers say given that much of the event’s main space is now off limits, they had no choice.

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“So for the safety of the people and the community, we decided not to have the regatta this year,” said Paula Cribbs, the regatta’s vice president.

Normally, the regatta is held on the third weekend in August, and it attracts about 10,000 people.

Years ago, it was actually held on the Ohio River, but that wasn’t an option this year.

“You need a year’s advance notice to the Coast Guard to shut down the traffic; and with them building the Shell plant, they have a lot more traffic than they’ve had before,” Cribbs said.

“It’s very frustrating,” added Margetic.

It’s unclear if the borough can make repairs in time for August, but an event like the regatta takes a lot of planning, so they had to make the decision now.

“We made the call because no one would give us a definite answer. The decisions been made, and let’s just cross our fingers for 2019,” said Carol McClelland, a regatta board member.

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The vice president Of Bridgewater Council tells the Beaver County Times that they need to get engineering to look how to fix the area. The timetable on reopening will depend on what it costs.

David Highfield