About a hundred boats floated the Arkansas River September 2 for the fifth-annual revival of Tulsa’s Great Raft Race.
Racers took off from the boat ramp at Case Community Park and ended the race at the boat ramp at River West Festival Park.
This year, Raft Race Director Seth Erkenbeck said organizers of the event plan to donate some of the money raised from registration fees to River Parks and entities in Sand Springs affected by the May and June flood. Registration was postponed to June 15 from June 1 because of the flood. Erkenbeck said organizers received a grant to match money received from registration fees up to $1,000.
“The first year back was the year we had the biggest number of participants,” he said. “We have a great joint task force (ensuring safety during the race).”
Ray Thompson, who floated in Monday’s race for the third year, said his Viking-themed raft took about three months to make and featured small Vikings made out of expanding foam.
The Finish Line Festival at the end of the race in River West Festival Park featured a volleyball tournament in to addition live music, food trucks, games and more.
The race ran from 1973-1991 before its revival. The event drew 600 rafts, 4,500 racers and 150,000 spectators to the banks of the Arkansas River at its peak.