It was just the other day the sun was shining and people were out and about, looking forward to better days. However, today as I write this column I am viewing a snow storm. I knew I should not have taken my snowbrush out of the car. 

But, I prefer to long for the sunny days and what lies ahead. So come along with me.

Plans are already in progress for Riverside’s 5th Annual Scuffy Gross Regatta to be held on June 27, 2021. All plans depend on where everything is in regards to COVID-19. Get your vaccination if you haven’t already. 

The first regatta was held in 2017 in memory of Scuffy Gross, longtime Riversider, Riverside Township assessor and Lions Club member. Scuffy was an avid boater, and it was only fitting that he be remembered by an event on the Des Plaines River, which he could see daily from his third-floor office in the Riverside Township Hall.

The regatta was put together by the Riverside Township Lions with sponsorship help from Riverside American Legion Post #488, to which Scuffy also belonged. Kayakers Tom Sisulak and Alex Gallegos organized the event and paddled their way down the Des Plaines. 

The event grew 27 watercraft in 2018 and 32 in 2019. Taped by Riverside TV, the event drew over 10,000 views from people all across the country. Those who watched in person saw members of the Gross family, daughters Connie, Cindy and Chrissy, making their way in their kayaks around the bend in the river and hoisting their paddles in tribute to their dad. 

As they approached the Swinging Bridge they got a wave and shout out from Sue Gross and other members of the family that had assembled from nearby and out of town. It is quite something seeing the beautiful colored kayaks and canoes drift past. 

Details for the 2021 event are still being put together and information will go out in a timely fashion. People are encouraged to begin putting their safety gear together as it will be required to participate. A always look to The Landmark for information closer to the date. 

Soon you may even be able to put your kayak in the river from a launch on Swan Pond’s west bank. Don’t think they will be adding any swans to the area, though. There are enough critters around already.

Now if you thought 2017 was Riverside’s first regatta, you will be surprised to know there was one held in 1871. 

But if you want to see highlights from the most recent event, you can watch Riverside TV’s video on YouTube by typing in “Riverside regatta 2019” into the YouTube search bar.