This year’s theme: America the Beautiful

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The Anything That Floats raft race has become one of the most popular events at Niles Riverfest.
Each year, more and more rafts join in, which has made this event one to look forward to.
One of the things that makes this race so interesting and keeps drawing many back is the special awards given out, which include the Rowdiest Raft, Slowest Raft, Most Colorful Raft and Best of Show, along with a number of other catagories.
"Everyone wins some kind of an award," said Bob Dunnuck, chairman of the Anthing that Floats race.
"This should be a good year. We already have 13 pre-registered, which is more than we've had in the past, but most people register the day of the race. We're expecting about 30 to 40 floats this year."
The theme of this year's race is "America the Beautiful," which will surely bring out the patriotism in all of us. The race will be held on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m., with a decorating party being held on Friday from noon until 9 p.m. at the boat launch behind the old Niles Police Station.
"We have a few people who start working on their floats Friday night, but a lot of them get out there at 6 or 7 a.m. Saturday morning and work until it's time for the race," Dunnuck said.
Entry fee is $75, per raft. Raft rentals are also available for $75. Participants will be asked to decorate their rafts according to the theme, then they are put in the water and proceed down the river in a floating parade.
All proceeds raised from the race will go to Niles Boy Scout Troop 550.
"They really do a lot of work for this race. They help all week long, help put the rafts in the water and are responsible for taking the rafts apart when the race is complete," Dunnuck said.
"This really is a great event for family and friends. It actually turns into an old pirate water war. People soak other raft participants with water ballons and water guns. By the time the race is over everything is just soaking wet, but it's a lot of fun," Dunnuck added.
Those wanting to participate in raft race may do so by contacting Dunnuck at 683-3645 or via e-mail at