Crews Make Final Preps For This Year's Tulsa Great Raft Race

Monday, September 5th 2016, 11:44 am
By: News On 6

Two-hundred racers are gearing up to hit the water for the second annual Tulsa Great Raft race on Labor Day.  

All afternoon on Sunday, the rafts have been pulling into the Sand Springs River City Park.

The captains of these vessels and their crew are making last minute preparations before the voyage to the Arkansas River.

"We're gonna have  grill on here a balloon launcher plenty of water guns we're just gonna have a lot of fun," said raft race participant Phil Hill.

Hill is this ship's captain.   He participated in the Great Raft Race last year.  

This go around he's made his ship better.

"We've also added the sail which also doubles as a canopy once you get out on the water, you can actually tilt it and it becomes an eight-foot canopy," said Phil Hill.

In most cases, a lot engineering goes into creating these works of art. They have to make sure they don't fall apart, and hope they float.  

Stuart McDaniel says with an expected 15 people on board his cereal box boat, his will float.  So now he's focused on the details.

"It's cool from far away but also really neat when you get up close," said raft race participant Stuart McDaniel.

In all 200 vessels have entered the race.  

Organizers hope the public appreciates the effort the nearly 750 participants have put in.

"It's almost like a floating parade art show so these are creative artistic guys," said raft race director Seth Erkendeck.

While there will be fun, McDaniel says this trip down the river is great promotion for business and Tulsa.

"Just getting to see a view of the river that  you never get to see. you get a downtown sky line that is a photograph that  you could never acquire but being on the raft and in the top of a cereal box doesn't hurt either," said Seth Erkendeck.