The next installment of the Gateway Classic Boomerang Tournament, this one being the 28th Annual, will be held on Memorial Day weekend, in about ten weeks. The location remains the same: Konarcik Park in lovely Waterloo, Illinois. Waterloo is about 25 minutes Southeast of downtown St. Louis.
The format for the weekend will be like previous years. On Saturday, May 23rd, we’ll paint the field and throwers will be rolling into town and meeting up at the field for practice and fun throwing throughout the afternoon. Around 6:00, everyone will head to Chicago Bob’s house in Waterloo for BBQ, brews, and socializing on the patio. Sunday morning, the USBA-sanctioned tournament will start about 9:00 am, with throwers arriving at the field by 8:30 am. After the tournament, we’ll head back to Chicago Bob’s house for pizza, awards, and more bevvies. Monday is a free day – sometimes folks get together and do something, sometimes people just head back home.
I don’t have a firm price for the weekend yet, but it’s usually about $25, which includes the tournament, trophies, and food and drink (beer, soda, water) for both Saturday evening’s BBQ and Sunday evening’s pizza and awards. Everyone gets at least one of my special Gateway Classic trophies, and often people get more than one thanks to the random placings that the trophies are for!
The Gateway Classic is usually a pretty big tournament, averaging probably 25-30 throwers. It’s also a very laid-back affair, which makes it ideal for new and rookie throwers to learn from the US Team studs and wise veterans. You can learn on the field, then have a beer and talk strategy or technique at the BBQ or awards. SO, I encourage anyone and everyone to not only come out, but to enter the tournament and learn a ton from the pros.
For lodging, Waterloo has a Super 8 motel and a local motel from the days of yore which is clean and comfy – the Sunset Motel. The Sunset only has about eight rooms, and is like three minutes from both my house and the field, so book early if that intrigues you. A step up is the Hampton Inn in Columbia, IL, which is about 15 minutes away, in the next town on the way back to St. Louis. Waterloo also has a couple of Bed and Breakfasts. The one that throwers have used before and that I know the owners of (and so can vouch for it!) is the Senator Rickert House B&B.
A couple of road construction warnings. First, the good news: they moved the street that goes from Illinois Route 3 to my house up to the stoplight between my house and the field. Sounds confusing, but you’ll easily see the big, fancy new intersection of Vanderbrook and Route 3, and head down into fields from Route 3. The bad news is that the usual bridge people would take from downtown St. Louis to the Illinois side of the Mississippi, the Poplar Street Bridge, is under construction, and they have torn out the ramps to get from Illinois to the airport, and likewise from the airport to Illinois. It’s a pain! So, let me know if you want some specialized directions depending on which way you’re coming.
OK, there’s the info so far for the Gateway Classic. Let me know if you ned more info, and please let me know if you plan to come, since I buy food and bevvies based on the attendance.
Many Happy Returns!