CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – On the last night of Live on the Levee, another celebration began, with the announcement by Mayor Amy Goodwin of the return of the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta.

After a 12-year hiatus, the boating event will return in 2022.

Those who have been to a Regatta in Charleston, say they have fond memories of the boating event.

“Regatta is a blast, Regatta is FestivAll and the best of Charleston all put together,” said Evan Wilson, the head chef at Ichiban Restaurant.

They say in its heyday, it was a 10-day event, with carnival rides and a parade.

“And they had Ray Charles, they had big national acts, they had a quarter of a million people here,” remembered one boater who participated in the first Regatta’s beginning in 1971.

Live on the Levee has since substituted for the Regatta, blending boating, music, dancing, and food.

City officials don’t have an exact number for the economic impact of Regatta, but they estimate it’s well into the millions.

“It’s definitely a boon for everybody and their business especially with what we’re going through right now with Covid,” said Wilson.

The next Regatta is scheduled for July 1st through 4th in 2022.