Vessels of all shapes, sizes and design are expected to hit the Etowah River for the Coosa River Basin Initiative’s (CRBI) 2nd annual Rome’s Big Float on June 3.
The 6-mile river celebration is billed as a float for canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, tubes, rafts, homemade rafts and anything else that floats your boat…so long as it floats. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Rome-based river protection group.
“The theme for this year’s float is Pirates and Pisces,” said Shira Kerce, Membership and Events Coordinator with CRBI. “Last year our participants came up with some very creative vessels, and we’re excited to see what they’ll do with our buccaneers and fish theme.”
More than $1000 in prizes will be awarded to participants through the event’s Float-A-Thon fundraiser and vessel decoration and design competitions.
Event sponsor, Blue Sky Outfitter, will be award merchandise prizes in several categories including best decorated vessel, best costume and largest flotilla of tubes.
Participants are also encouraged to raise money for river protection projects through the Float-A-Thon in which CRBI will award a new canoe from Cedar Creek Park & Outdoor Center to the top fundraiser.
Those interested in participating can create an online fundraising page at https://coosa.dntly.com/campaign/rome-s-big-float-a-thon-2017#/
Paddlers will begin their journey at Grizzard Park and Dixon Landing six miles upstream of Rome on the Etowah River. The float will end on the Coosa River at Heritage Park in downtown Rome at the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers.
Following the float, CRBI will host a party at River Dog Outpost featuring SweetWater beer and live music.
Registration fees are $30 per person. Children 12 and under participate for free. Registration fees include an event t-shirt, and for those 21 and older, a complimentary SweetWater beer at the party.
The float begins at 1 p.m. with doors opening for the party at River Dog Outpost at 3 p.m.
Sponsors of the event include SweetWater Brewing Co., Williams Energy, Mohawk, International Paper, Q102, Radio M, River Ratz, River Dog Paddle Co. & Outpost, Blue Sky Outfitter and Venue Dog.
CRBI is a 501c3 non profit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically unique river basin.