DIYers put skills to test in Anything That Floats Race

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rock River saw a lot of traffic today, August 18th, for the Anything That Floats Race.

Boats are built by hand of all sizes to attempt to bear the elements as they race down the Rock River.

Megan Streeter and her friends were inspired to create a raft based off of Thomas and Friends.

“We wanted to appeal to the children because kids love Thomas and my friend has a two year old and he really likes Thomas too,” Streeter said.

They are one of the 40 rafts built by hand racing down the river.

The Blackhawk Athletic Club, Tracey Brewer, explained why they had a baseball themed raft.

“We have a baseball theme on our raft. One of the big ventures that the club does is sponsor a lot of youth baseball teams. So it’s our first year in the raft race and we thought we would do a sports theme with baseball,” Brewer said.

Another raft was built to look like a giant fighter plane by the OSF Crew, Arlyn Schroeder explained.

“It’s the Wolfgang. One of our sisters what she does is names the raft for us. This is supposed to be the patron Saint of aviators,” Schroeder said.

The 4th annual race brought tons of boaters and spectators to the Rock River.

Geoff Oman an organizer of the race said they brought this race back from the 70s and 80s to encourage residents to support the river while bringing excitement downtown.

“”It’s just to really revitalize the downtown area over the number of years and bring people back downtown, back to the riverfront and just give them something. It’s really a quality of life with the city and the more events like this that we have the more people we can attract to the city and the better it is for all of us,” Oman said.

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