SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – The popular Small Ships Revue will return to Sharon this year, a Quaker Steak and Lube spokeswoman confirmed.
Kady Burnett said the event will be held this year on Saturday, June 25.
The event, which features amateur small ship builders competing for a cash prize, had been held for 33 years, until it was stopped in 2014 amid safety concerns. That year, city leaders sent a letter to Quaker Steak and Lube addressing numerous concerns involving the floats on the Shenango River and the parade before the event. This came a year after WaterFire Sharon’s debut in the city — an event that is also held along the river but is unrelated to Small Ships.
Sharon Police Chief Gerald Smith said Lube management has been willing to work with the police department and the city to work out these issues. Several changes are being made this year, which he said should make the event more family-friendly.
Among the changes:
- There will be no parade this year, and no roads will be blocked;
- Open bottle rules will be strictly enforced (customers will be barred from taking alcohol off of the Lube’s property);
- The event will be held during the day, from noon to 6 p.m., with boats launching at 2 p.m.;
- Fencing will be erected on the bridge, so as to keep traffic flowing;
- And, the Fishing and Boating Commission will be on hand to ensure safety.
Smith said these changes should prevent problems at past events, in which people were blocking the roadways and starting fights.
“It got to a point where police were being injured because of the large-scale fights,” he said.
This year, the Lube will also have to pay for the police presence, due to a new ordinance recently passed by the city, Smith said.
“I think it will be a more calm event… I’m optimistic about the concessions the Lube has made, he said.
Burnett said registration for the boats will begin at noon on the day of the event. Those who want to pre-register their boats can do so through an application form at the restaurant or at other local businesses. All application forms can be mailed to Quaker Steak & Lube, Attn: Kady Burnett, 101 Chestnut St., Sharon, PA 16146.
Family and children’s activities will be held during the event in the parking lot. At the end of the night, there will be live entertainment by the Sugar Shack.