(2016 Courier file photo)
(2016 Courier file photo)
In an effort to lure back fans after several down years, the Madison Regatta is offering an unique ticket opportunity for the next month.

Starting on Friday and running through April 3, the Regatta is running an online special where fans can buy three admission wristbands and get a fourth one free. The promotion is online only.

Madison Regatta President Dan Cole made the announcement at the Regatta’s monthly general membership meeting on Wednesday. For Cole, the promotion is as much about rewarding fans as it is bringing former fans back into the fold.

“We know that we’re struggling and this is a chance to reach out to families that may have stayed away the past couple of years because of the weather problems,” Cole said. “This is a chance to not only give back to the fans that have stayed with us, but to also get back those paying customers. A family of four can purchase $100 worth of wristbands for $75. That’s a pretty big savings.”

Advance sales wristbands will cost $25 this year. The Madison Regatta can be reached at www.madisonregatta.com.

In addition to the ticket promotion, Cole also announced a new wrinkle to the Regatta festivities this year. On Saturday, July 1 — the same day as the Fireworks Spectacular — the Regatta will host a “Food Truck Competition” involving five different trucks.

Food vendors serving chicken, tacos, Thai food, barbecue and Mediterranean will be on hand to serve customers in a competition to see who sells the most.

“We’re really excited about this food truck competition,” Cole said. “I think it’s going to be really great.”

The Madison Regatta Festival kicks off on Saturday, June 24 with racing scheduled for June 30 through July 2.

In other news:

• Cole announced that three Unlimited hydroplanes have committed to running in this year’s race: The local U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank/Miss Madison, the U-11 Unlimited Racing Group and the U-27 Wiggins Racing. Four Unlimiteds are planned for the event with the fourth boat still to be determined.

“I talk to (H1’s) Doug Bernstein twice a week and they’re trying to get us that fourth boat. I’m hoping that it’s either the 9 (Jones Racing) or the 3 (Cooper Racing),” Cole said. “I realize that the 3 is a longshot, but it’s a possibility and we’re holding out for that. Regardless of who we get, we’re still going to have four Unlimiteds and 10 Grand Prix West boats in the pits for a total of 14 boats. We’re going to have a great race.”

Cole said he expects to have the fourth boat secured by April 1.

• The next meeting of the Madison Regatta will be Wednesday, April 5 at the VFW Post 1969. The public is welcome to attend.