Tulsa's Great Raft Race Brings 200 Watercraft To Arkansas River

Monday, September 5th 2016, 9:03 pm
By: News On 6

This Labor Day is all about the second year of the revival of Tulsa's Great Raft Race. 

The race brought out 200 floating craft of one kind or another that ferried more than 700 people from Sand Springs to Tulsa on the Arkansas River.

By the end of the day, some people said they were both glad it was over but also glad they did it.

“It turned out really well,” said Phil Hill of the PSO Raft Team. "We had a good time. It took about five hours to float the entire river."

The race was eight miles from start to finish and people lined up along the route to watch the race.

One area on the Highway 97 bridge just south of the starting line had spectators set up like it was a day at the beach. Some people set up tents and kids brought out beach toys and the kids played in the river.

One entry was even fashioned as a paddlewheel pirate ship.

One of the rules of today’s race was ‘no motors allowed.’ Everything had to be ‘people-powered.’

The race brought out kayaks, canoes and inflatable boats. People just wanted to get involved.

Spectators began lining up on the west bank near the finish to watch the rafts finish. It was a slow parade so there was plenty of time to do other things such as…yoga.

Racers floated on by and got a ‘thank you’ from the crowd. Sometimes they answered back.

One watercraft, the ‘Un-Titanic 2’ was built by 5th-grade students from Carnegie Elementary. A group of Carnegie teachers floated the boat.

Participants said it was fun. But they all have something to look forward to tomorrow.

"Yeah we have to go to work tomorrow,” one participant said.