Spam on the waterPublished 10:33am Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Spamtown Belle casts off on East Side Lake for 2013 season
Austin’s big, blue paddle wheeler is set for another season of leisurely rides around East Side Lake.
Several local men horsed the Spamtown Belle off its trailer, into the water and checked over its components Tuesday morning during the warmest day of the season thus far.
Dick Nordin, one of four volunteer captains, is excited for another season of piloting the lazy, paddle wheel boat around the lake and offering enjoyment for tourists, wedding parties and more.
“It’s a good, unique attraction, and people get a kick out of riding it,” Nordin said, and added about 800 people ride the boat each year.
The boat was designed and built in 1956 and acquired by Bill and Betty Regner of Austin in 1998. The Regners donated the boat to the city of Austin in 1999, and the boat has operated as the Spamtown Belle since then. Volunteers operated the boat on Mill Pond for several years and returned to East Side Lake in 2010.
Nordin said rides will be available to the public beginning the weekend of Friday, May 24. The Spamtown Belle operates after 5:30 p.m. Fridays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, and costs $1 for children and $2 for adults.
Nordin also said the crew of volunteer captains are looking for a few more pilots to join them, as well.