Lake Wauburg overcomes obstacles and celebrates centennial with Music at the Lake

todayMarch 21, 2022

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Neither twister nor pandemic may cease Lake Wauburg’s centennial celebration.

September will mark 100 years for the reason that College of Florida gained possession of the lake’s North Shore, an out of doors recreation middle and neighborhood staple eight miles south of campus.

Plans to have fun the anniversary, within the works since 2018, have been almost thwarted by a twister in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic, and but a whole bunch of individuals gathered on Saturday for Music on the Lake, kicking off months of centennial festivities.

Preparation wasn’t a breeze. The twister destroyed about $300,000 price of property and gear, stated Amber Larkin, affiliate director for outside recreation at UF RecSports.

Whereas some buildings are nonetheless being rebuilt, Larkin stated the location has largely recovered. Two years of COVID-19 restrictions, although, left Larkin and different members of the lake’s centennial committee unsure if the celebration may come to fruition.

Larkin spearheaded the planning – three comparable occasions are set for April 16, July 4 and Labor Day – and stated she was elated to see the primary be a hit.

“I simply love that folks can come out right here, and so they can disconnect from all of their duties, after which reconnect with themselves,” she stated of the lake’s enduring worth.

Lake Wauburg was named – although for some cause misspelled – in honor of Frederick Warburg, a German-Jewish banker who immigrated from Europe to America in 1821 to assist recruit settlers for Jewish agricultural properties in Alachua County, stated Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney, government director of the Matheson Historical past Museum.

“That is one thing that could be a enormous a part of Gainesville and Alachua County life,” Hof-Mahoney stated of the lake.

Lake Wauburg was named for Frederick Warburg, who immigrated to Alachua County to assist Moses Levy recruit settlers for a Jewish agricultural colony. The College of Florida bought the lake’s North Shore for $6,000 in 1922. (Picture courtesy of Matheson Historical past Museum)

Music on the Lake’s turnout steered as a lot. For 3 hours, attendees sailed, hammocked, barbecued, performed sports activities and did yoga to the hum of a dwell jazz band.

John Bishop, 57, an architect and outdoorsman from Apollo Seaside, stated he loved the occasion and beloved the lake.

“The climate’s good, the music’s good and everybody’s having an excellent time,” stated Bishop, who attended together with his spouse and daughter.

Lake Wauburg is the place Linda Dillon, 22, realized to rock climb and bask in kayaking and paddle boarding. She stated the lake’s distance from UF’s campus and free pupil entry make it a each a fantastic stress outlet in addition to strategy to benefit from the outdoor.

Dillon attended Music on the Lake with the UF Culinary Arts Scholar Union (CASU). The membership’s vice chairman, she stated round 50 of its members and 30 friends have been to attend a deliberate picnic. Slightly than “prepare dinner up a hog,” CASU introduced 11 kilos of Korean barbecue ribs, 20 kilos of barbecue rooster kabobs, sausages and sides for the centennial.

“It’s undoubtedly a optimistic expertise it doesn’t matter what,” she stated of the lake.

Chloe Piloto, 20, a workers outside recreation affiliate and a climbing wall operator, stated she feels fulfilled by serving to different folks have interaction within the actions she adores. Piloto stated she spent Music on the Lake doing simply that, welcoming guests on the North Shore’s entrance gate.

“It’s only a enjoyable ambiance, each for the patron and for us,” she stated.

Piloto started working at Lake Wauburg six months in the past. She assists with aquatic actions like kayaking, canoeing and land sports activities like volleyball on the North Shore, in addition to mountain biking, disc golf and rock-climbing procedures on the South Shore.

However her favourite a part of the job is interacting with college students. She remembers visiting the lake as a freshman and needs to create the perfect experiences for others.

“Not each college has a spot just like the lake,” she stated.

Ron Perry, 66, an assistant regulation librarian at UF, was on his method residence from a 5K in Micanopy and determined to cease by the lake. Perry hadn’t been in a number of years and wasn’t conscious of the celebration earlier than arriving. He stated the jazz band was a nice shock.

“It’s only a good day away from the town,” Perry stated.

Larkin stated she’s happy with her workers for with the ability to placed on an occasion like Music on the Lake regardless of the current obstacles. She stated they hope it brings extra consideration to Lake Wauburg.

“We wish folks to find out about it and are available out right here and revel in it,” Larkin stated.

Automobiles line up on Regatta Drive and overflow onto State Freeway 25, as dozens of tourists wait to be acquired at Lake Wauburg throughout the centennial occasion Saturday. (AJ Bafer/WUFT Information)

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