Dozens participate in Saturday’s Big Float down Etowah. Up next: Paddle Georgia with Canoe Tug-A-War in Cartersville, fish fry celebration in Rome.

Dozens participate in Saturday’s Big Float down Etowah. Up next: Paddle Georgia with Canoe Tug-A-War in Cartersville, fish fry celebration in Rome.

Some of the many floaters including the ‘Beaver Barge’ from a group of Rome High students. (photos from CRBI’s Facebook page)


Beautiful skies and warm temperatures brought out dozens of participants for Saturday’s Second Annual Big Float hosted by te Coosa River Basin Initiative.
The six-mile river celebration included a procession of canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, tubes, rafts and homemade rafts floating down the Etowah River. The event ended on the Coosa River at Heritage Park in downtown Rome with a party at River Dog Outpost.  More than $1,000 in prizes were awarded to participants through the event’s Float-A-Thon fundraiser and vessel decoration and design competitions.

Paddle Georgia 2017 is coming to the Etowah this summer and on Thursday, June 22, CRBI and the City of Cartersville are hosting the 300-plus paddlers for a street party and Canoe Tug-O-War competition by the Depot in Cartersville. The free street party begins at 6 p.m. and will feature a DJ, dancing, canoe and kayak test rides and canoe tug-o-war competitions. Event sponsor Cedar Creek Park & Outdoor Center will set up its mammoth portable pool in downtown. Canoe and kayak test rides will begin at 6 p.m. followed by tug-o-wars at 7 p.m.

The tug-o-wars feature two canoes tied end to end, each filled with a co-ed team of three paddlers who attempt to paddle pull their opponents across the pool. A double-elimination tournament will determine the tug-o-war champions who will take home cash and prizes.
Form your tug-o-war teams now and get ready for wet and wild battles. Registration is $25 per four-person team. Note: though only three paddlers compete in each tug, you’ll need a substitute. Some to the tugs can be exhausting!

Then on Friday, June 23, Paddle Georgia will complete their 100-mile, 7-day journey in downtown Rome. There will be a fish fry celebration at Heritage Park at 6 p.m. Paddles will be arriving between 1-5 p.m. at the boat ramp. Tickets for the meal at $15 and include a feast of fried catfish, hushpuppies, cole slaw and cheese grits. All proceeds benefitting CRBI’s river protection projects.  Registration
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