Local Family Begins Preparation For Tulsa’s Great Raft Race

Saturday, August 13th 2016, 7:03 pm
By: News On 6

Registration for Tulsa’s Great Raft Race ends a week from Saturday.

But many people have already signed up and rafts are already being put together. 

There are businesses that enter a raft, schools that enter a raft, but one family is making this year a family affair. 

After missing out last year, the Dowdell's of Tulsa knew they wanted in this year. Three brothers, some kids and not to mention the in-laws are all working together to build what they hope will be the fastest raft out there. 

Right now, it's only an aluminum frame, but they plan to add barrels underneath and a canopy overhead.

"And I think we're going to get a couple water cannons on the side," stated Thomas Dowdell.

You know, to leave their competition washed out.

But more importantly, they are continuing a tradition after watching their parents join in the fun back in the 70's.

"We used to look through their photo albums at these hilarious pictures of all this crazy stuff they did, and unfortunately we couldn't do it last year, [because] I was out of town,” said Thomas. “So we're kind of getting excited that this is going to be our first time to really do it, and I want to be part of a Tulsa tradition."

Now, this year, they're looking to share the joy with their kids.

"They sketched for me their designs on the raft," said Thomas.

One raft design is full of water. 

"Mine is for people to stay cool," explained Abby Dowdell.

Others sketches include a two-seater, a sports flag and even a raft including a zombie.

"I think they're pretty solid," said Thomas. "They're better than what I could have come up with. 

John Dowdell added, "Today we're prepping for the Arkansas. Next year, maybe the Amazon.

As mentioned, spots are limited and there is only one week left to sign up. 

Visit the following link to sign up: Tulsa’s Great Raft Race