First-year summer event a hit, despite the heat

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Despite Saturday’s sweltering temperatures, around 300 people ventured out to the ColUSA Made and the Tap Room’s inaugural Summer Fest and Cornhole Tournament.

A total of 21 two-man teams competed in the tournament. The father-son tandem of Mitchell and Woody Yerxa came out on top in a tournament that lasted more than five hours. Nico Valencia and Jeremy Knowles took second place, and Tap Room owner Paul Santinelli and his partner Dominic Santucci finished third.

“It was a fantastic community event and I would love to see it grow and continue into an annual event,” Mitchell Yerxa said. “A big thanks to Paul and Kathleen (Langhi) for all their hard work and enthusiasm and forward thinking.”

From general attendance to the number of teams participating in the tournament, Santinelli said he was happy with the way the first-year event played out.

“It was a great community event. The only thing that didn’t work out so well for us was the heat,” Santinelli said. “No one was expecting 110 degrees, but everybody faced the heat, got under the misters and got through the day.”

Emily Correa was among the 300 who attended the event, and she walked away impressed.

“I didn’t even know about this Cornhole tournament until today, but this is what Colusa needs, is more stuff like this,” Correa said.

Santinelli credited the community for stepping up to support Summer Fest, specifically pointing out the contributions of the Colusa Fire Department, Tom Reische and Messick’s for donating misters and fans to battle the heat, Josh Fitch and Emit Whiting for being his guest bartenders, the Colusa County Men’s and Women’s rugby teams for helping set up and break down, and Chon Santana and Dennis “Smokey” Correa for cooking for the event.

“It’s a lot of work to put on an event like that, because you have so much to coordinate. It was a huge help to have them,” Santinelli said.

He also credited the local businesses that sponsored the boards for the tournament.

Santinelli said that he plans to make the event an annual one, but after hearing the feedback from attendees on Saturday, it probably wouldn’t be held in mid-July again.

“We’re hoping to make it bigger and better next year. We would like to see more teams play… we’re either going to try to do it in late May or early June, or in October to make it easier with the heat,” he said. “That was the one thing we heard when we asked for feedback.” ■

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net