Back Together: Worthington Bounces Back After Being Hit Hard Early In Pandemic

The Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival is back on this year, Liz Collin reports (2:36) WCCO 4 News At 5 - June 11, 2021

Video Transcript

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: The pandemic put the brakes on many Minnesota traditions last summer.

FRANK VASCELLARO: Fortunately, though, this year is a different story. Liz Collin is from Worthington, Minnesota. She joins us there live in her hometown, where it sounds like there's some big doings getting underway there in Worthington, Liz.

LIZ COLLIN: Absolutely is, Frank, just like every June here in Worthington. Welcome to the shores of Lake Okabena the home to the Worthington Regatta and Music Festival underway now for the weekend. Well, all is calm and much cooler now I will say, which is a good thing. But it seems after the year that's been, mother nature had another surprise in store this morning.

- Well, it's not a great start Regatta 2021.

LIZ COLLIN: Wind and rain toppled some tents Friday morning but also brought some much needed relief from the heat.

- $11 please.

LIZ COLLIN: In time to welcome a Worthington tradition back.

- Nice to see all this activity out in the park again.

JOSH MILLER: Absolutely we're excited. We've had about two years to plan now.

LIZ COLLIN: President of the Regatta Board Josh Miller expects a couple dozen wind surfers to hit the lake over the weekend after a long year off. The summertime staple dates back to 1999 in Worthington, where surfers from around the world have competed since. The Rolling Hills of the Buffalo Ridge provide the high winds needed to keep them clipping along.

JOSH MILLER: A lot of wind around here typically. And sometimes on Regatta, it's just calm as can be, but hopefully, we have a little wind for the weekend.

LIZ COLLIN: Even without it, judging by the satisfaction we found--

- The winter months were really long when you're really closeted in.

LIZ COLLIN: This year's Regatta is already a success.

JOSH MILLER: A lot of people are ready to get back out and enjoy this event and just have some time to get back and reconnect.

LIZ COLLIN: And you can see the wind surfers are excited to get back out on Lake Okabena here tonight. We thank them for this very good live shot opportunity here from the lake. And the music you can hear behind me is just getting started. The concert officially begins tonight at 7:00 with the headliner tonight at 9:00. There are activities planned all weekend long here at Sailboard Beach, and you'll find a link on for a list of activities. So it should be a fun weekend you guys here in the hometown of Worthington.

FRANK VASCELLARO: Yeah, glad the rain cleared through. Liz, as Regatta queen, are you required to start the race by windsurfing, or you just stand on shore?

LIZ COLLIN: Well, Frank, you know me to be on shore. Thank you for the title. That is actually made up. There is no Regatta queen, but I do appreciate being named royalty. Thank you. It's not deserved.

FRANK VASCELLARO: You're welcome, Liz.

LIZ COLLIN: I'd like to think the Academy. Appreciate it, guys.

FRANK VASCELLARO: OK, enjoy your hometown of Worthington. Thank you.