Owensboro Riverport Authority | 1771 River Road | P.O. Box 21955 | Owensboro, Kentucky 42304
 
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Staff pleased with first Discover Owensboro Riverport Day

October 30, 2012

By Steve Vied

Messenger-Inquirer

Saturday's first-ever Discover Owensboro Riverport Day was a ringing success, the port's president and CEO said, even if the bigger-than-anticipated crowd had the staff scrambling to accommodate everyone.

"We're delighted," said Ed Riney. "The objectives were clearly met to introduce the riverport to 1,500 people, who got to experience three modes of transportation. We thought it was a total success."

Guests on the cool, blustery but sunny day were treated to a hayrides on a flatbed trailer pulled by a truck, railroad boxcar rides and river barge rides that gave passengers a view from the river of downtown Owensboro's newest amenity, Smothers Park, which sits atop a river wall between Daviess and Frederica streets.

The event, which cost the riverport between $10,000 and $15,000 to stage, also offered free hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, ice cream and drinks. Riverport staff had to make a second run to the grocery for more food to accommodate the big crowd.

"We reacted well, but next time we'll probably have two (hayride) trucks," Riney said.

The other major change for the next Discover Riverport Day will be to locate more life vests in order to allow more than 140 onto the barge at a time, Riney said.

"A lot of people left because the wait was so long," Riney said of people who didn't get to take the barge ride. "We had to have a life vest for everyone. If we could have put three times as many on the barge, it wouldn't have been an issue."

A decision has not been made about when to have another Discover Owensboro Riverport Day, Riney said.

Steve Vied, 691-7297, svied@messenger-inquirer.com

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