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Raft Race Extravaganza Part Of Washington July 4th Celebration
Updated May 5, 2013 1:07 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(WASHINGTON) - Area organizations can get fired up for a community Fourth of July celebration by signing up for the First Annual Homemade Raft Race Extravaganza.

Andrea McCann of the Washington Times Herald reports that the celebration will take place at Eastside Park on the weekend prior to the traditional Fourth of July celebration, according to Washington Parks and Recreation Superintendent Mike McLemore. The raft race will be at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 1, starting at the boat ramp on Baumert Lake and making one lap around the island.

"I think it'll be an event that will be fun to come out and see," McLemore said. "It'll be fun for participants and a lot of fun for spectators, as well."

All rafts must be homemade, with no commercially manufactured hulls. Use of recyclable material is suggested for the construction. Rafts must be self-propelled with oars, paddle wheels, poles, sails or other non-motorized object, and must have a two- to five-person crew.

There's no cost to enter the raft race, and 20th Century Chevy Inc. is donating $125 for the first-place raft, $75 for second and $50 for third. There will be special awards for best raft name, most creative raft and most challenged raft.

Registration will take place all the way up to starting time, McLemore said, and groups should have their rafts on the grounds by 1 p.m.

Baumert Lake also is the site of a free Youth Fishing Tournament with lots of prizes for participants, according to McLemore. Registration is 8-8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 30, at the bandstand, with the competition to take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded at 11 a.m. on the bandstand.

"They've had fishing tournaments in the past, but not associated with the Fourth of July celebration," McLemore said.

"We're gonna have trophies and door prizes for the kids. We'll have first through fifth places in three age categories and prizes for the most fish caught, the biggest fish caught and the smallest fish caught. We're giving away fishing poles, tackle boxes and fishing tackle."

The three age categories are 6-9 years, 10-12 years and 13-15 years. Both boys and girls are eligible to participate and must provide their own fishing pole and bait. There are no restrictions on type of bait used. Fish must be judged still on the hook, and all fish caught must be returned to the lake immediately after they're judged. Parents are not allowed to fish for their children.

For more information on the raft race or fishing tournament, contact McLemore at 254-6010 or

Another event McLemore thinks will be popular is the Washington Rotary Club Cornhole Tournament slated for 10 a.m., Saturday, June 30, at the park.

"Cornhole is popular now," he said. "I don't think they've had a cornhole tournament in the past."

Preregistration was required by June 22 for the event, which will feature up to 50 teams of two. Prize amounts will depend on the number of entries, but first place will be in the $150-$300 range; second place, $75 to $100; and third place, $30-$50.

"The DistinXion 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament is new," McLemore said.

"Any time Luke Zeller and his organization is involved it's done right."

The event will be June 30-July 1 at Eastside Park for the following age brackets: 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 18U, 18-35 and 35+. The registration deadline has passed.

A dunk tank offers another opportunity for an organization to get involved in the community celebration. Currently, the Daviess County Chamber of Commerce is running the dunk tank on Sunday, July 1.

"I'd like to get someone else to run the dunk tank on Saturday," McLemore said.

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