Day of Fun Planned Along Long Wharf

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, the city of New Haven has you covered with not one, not two, but three different activities lined up on Long Wharf this Saturday.

“You’re gonna have some of the best food in America,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Mayor Harp let her taste buds do the talking Thursday, as she unveiled plans for the third annual food truck festival. She said the 22-small businesses lined up to be part of Saturday’s event represent top-notch take-out.

People who go up 91 and 95 they make a point to stop here to get this food,” said Harp adding that the selection would be the best meals prepared on wheels.

The festival opens up at noon along Long Wharf Drive, with something for everyone on the menu.

“We have everything from Mexican, to seafood, to Turkish food, so we’ve got that diversity,” said Ginny Kozlowski, the CEO of the New Haven Economic Development Corporation.

A new event this year, the Wheelie Competition, starts at two p.m. in the parking lot next door.

“Just throwing down the gauntlet and seeing who can do the longest wheelie,” said Aidan Charles a board member for the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program.

By sponsoring the event, the group hopes it gets more kids engaged in their youth cycling league.

“The city of New Haven has packs of young cyclists riding around doing wheelies in the streets and we know there’s a lot of talented riders out there,” Charles said.

The top three winners will share a $500 prize. Anyone can participate in the free challenge. All they need to bring is a bike.

Another competition will complete the day of family fun: the second annual Dragon Boat Regatta.

“We’re doing the Dragon Boat Regatta because it’s fun, because it’s good exercise, and because we think it builds community,” said John Pescatore, President of Canal Dock Boathouse, Inc.

It’s also raising money for free programming for local school children at the boathouse that’s set to open next year.

“Having Long Wharf Pier as kind of a runway right alongside the racecourse, really it adds to the spectating, and because the boathouse is being built right here we’re really creating almost like an arena effect,” Pescatore said.

The drag boats are 40-foot canoes that hold 22 people, including a drummer. Pescatore said the race is steeped in Chinese tradition.

Unlike the inaugural dragon boat races that were held in the morning, this year the event won’t start until four o’clock in the afternoon. Organizers say the timing of this event is all controlled by the tides.

Last year, 10 teams completed, and this year they expect 11-13 teams to take part. Anyone who would like to race but doesn’t have a team will be paired with teams still looking for volunteers on race day.

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