Hundreds attended the annual Shoal Creek Water Festival at the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center in Joplin on Saturday.
The fun-filled day included educational booths about water conservation, including the MAKO Fly Fishers, Green Town Joplin and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Activities for children were also a hit including sidewalk chalk to games.
Along with the educational side, both adults and children could participate in the cardboard boat race (for adults) and the cardboard shoebox boats for children.
“Last year, we happen to be coming by the Glades and I saw the boat race,” said Bobbie Bohm. “Thought that it would be really fun to have a boat, because it was fun watching people get in.”
So, Bohm got the necessary items for the cardboard boat to make her boat.
“I built this in my garage. I looked for cardboard for two weeks,” she said. “Building was about six weeks, because I did it by myself in the garage. It is cardboard, glue, paint and paper tape. I have no duct tape at all.”
Her boat – U.S.S. Otis Clyde CB-12 – was dedicated and named after her father.
“My dad was in World War II in the Pacific,” she said. “He was on two different ships. One was the Liscome Bay. It was bombed by kamikaze. It went down, but didn’t sink. So they pulled into harbor to get it fixed and they put him on the U.S.S. Alpine and that was a transport carrier. It was injured, had action, they pulled back into port and the Liscome Bay was repaired, they went back out and in Nov. 24, 1943, it was torpedoed and sunk. My dad was missing in action for several days.”
Hence, her boat was also named after these two ships.
Bohm – dressed in a Hawaiian dress and her niece, Katey Rider – dressed in a grass skirt, would participate in the boat race.
Another particpate in the race was a team from Eagle Picher, who participated last year.
“It is pretty tough, the restrictions are pretty ridged and you have to be pretty carefull not to cross any rules,” said Emily Russell, with Eagle Picher. “And when you have as many engineers involved as we have involved in this, it is a long process.”
The Eagle Picher group actually had two boats – the first could hold three people, while the other one was one person boat.
“This is our boat,” she said, pointing to a three person boat. “The Arni, it is the Norse word for ‘Eagle,’” she said.
The other boat was called ‘Eaglet.”
When the time came, the boats were taken down to Shoal Creek and launched with participants to see who would stay afloat in a cardboard boat.
Page 2 of 2 - “It is pretty fun to watch, everybody had a great time last year, so we came back,” said Russell prior to the beginning of the race.