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Splish Splash Bash 

A mix of country music and powerboats provides a comeback recipe for a once-popular weekend party in Summit County.

At first, Lorie Strittmatter thought it was a lame idea to couple the American Power Boat Association's regatta with this weekend's roster of country, folk, and southern-blues bands, which takes place on Springfield Lake in the southern Summit County burg of Lakemore. But the more she talked it over with lake enthusiasts, the better the concept of Rock the Docks — adding music, food, games, and fireworks — sounded. "The big idea was to showcase the original local talent," says Strittmatter. "All the outdoor venues use cover bands, ignoring the great bands we have in the area that play their own songs." The blowout will also feature hydroplane regattas, which were once a weekend staple on the lake until a decade ago. At their fastest speeds, the boats can race up to 90 miles an hour. "The boats are just awesome," says Strittmatter. "They whip around the corners on the course and throw up big rooster tails of water in the air."And on two stages, the bands will range from indie-folkie Michael Grady and alt-rockers Nemesis 3 to the southern-bluesmen in the Robert Jeffrey Band. "We'll rock them with the waves and the music," says Strittmatter. The fest and regatta run from 4:30 to 11 tonight and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday on Springfield Lake, one mile east of State Route 241 in Lakemore. Admission is free. Call 330-644-2293 or visit
Fri., July 18, 4:30-11 p.m.; July 19-20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2008

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