The weather was beautiful as I made my way down to the beach on Percival’s Island.
The Rose of Nelson and a couple of other batteaux were already at the island at 9:30. I placed a stick in the sand at the water line so I could see how much the river was rising from the expected water release from Rusen’s Dam.
Gradually the boats gathered along the beach and the crowd on the bank did also! Everyone was really excited. I gave the VC&NS President, Mrs. Gail Timberlake, some batteau mail which was a brand new James River Batteau Festival Trail Atlas – 30th Annual Edition with a Pink Cover (The ONLY one with a pink cover). Gail stood on the batteau Lady’s Slipper very proud of her new atlas.
Jeff Taylor announced the boats once more. The Spirit of Buckingham shot off a cannon from the middle of the river facing away from the crowd, to start the festival. Gradually everyone made their way down-river, with Ralph Smith of the Anthony Rucker leading the rear as is his tradition.
The batteaux are to arrive in Galt’s Mill tonight.