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Tulsa’s Great Raft Race 2017

Tulsa’s Great Raft Race 2017

Tulsa’s Great Raft Race 2017

Tulsa’s Great Raft Race 2017

  • 3rd Annual Great Graft Race
  • Labor Day - Monday, September 4th 2017 

Get ready for the 3rd year of the Great Raft Race's revival on the Arkansas River. Register now to participate in this classic Tulsa event on Labor Day Monday September 4th 2017. Register yourself or your team of participants for a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, inflatable raft, or the crowd favorite creative homemade rafts. 

Race Categories

Participants will be able to compete in the recreational category 
Pokey Okie” and leisurely float down the AR River while enjoying the views and soaking up the sun. Speed Demons participate in the “Race Category” and see who’s rowing muscle can take them the fastest down the river! We will be giving awards for top 3 times in the 2 race categories; Canoe/Kayak/Sup & Homemade Raft. OR Compete directly against other local businesses for bragging rights in this year’s “Corporate Challenge”. Corporate Challenge participants receive VIP tent access at the Bud Light Boatyard Bash where free food, drink, and adult beverages catered by Elote will be provided. 

Raft Race Design Challenge

Ready to showcase your design and construction skills?? Or will you have the most creative kookiest raft on the river, and just hope it floats?? Good news is we are rewarding both! The Raft Race Design Challenge will give out awards for the following 


  • Best of Show- The best overall design of the Great Race, blending construction, creativity, sea-worthiness, style, and fun!!
  • Best Engineered Raft - The best engineered, constructed, and most intricate functioning raft.
  • Most Creative - The most creative, artistic, funny raft. Costumes encouraged!

All homemade raft participants are automatically entered to compete in these categories.

 Bud Light Boatyard Bash 

You don’t want to miss the official Great Raft Race finish line party! Come out and enjoy the end of summer with us on Labor Day and cheer your favorite rafts to the finish line! The Bud Light Boatyard Bash is located at River West Festival Park on the Arkansas River. Admission is FREE! Bring lawn chairs and a blanket and find your perfect spot of grass on the riverbank to enjoy the party!

Festivities Include:

  • Live Local Music
  • Food Trucks
  • Inflatable Kids Zone
  • Yard Games - new for ‘17
  • Retail Vendors

Sand Sculpture Challenge 

  • A 15-year Tulsa tradition that ended in 1993
  • Competition will be headlined and judged by world famous sand sculpture and international sand champion John Gowdy
  • This will take place during the Great Raft Race Bud Light Boatyard Bash After Party 
  • $250 to participate
  • Sign up at http://tulsaraftrace.com

 American Airlines STEM School Challenge 

  • Tulsa’s Great Raft Race will host the American Airlines STEM School Challenge where students can participate in building a raft and taking part in September’s event
  • Participating schools will be given STEM Raft Race curriculum to teach prior to raft construction and the raft construction guide via STEM Education Principles 
  • KKT Architects and American Airlines will provide engineers to support student led teams in their raft building
  • Ten schools will be selected to participate for free and schools from all over the region are encouraged to apply
  • Teachers can apply at http://tulsaraftrace.com

 Raft Race Rental Zone presented by Arrowhead Resort

  • For the first time, participants can rent a raft or kayak that will be provided for them at the launch area in Sand Springs
  • Spectators can also rent a kayak at the Bud Light Boatyard Bash at West Festival Park for the best view of the Raft Race from the water 

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  • We have updated information regarding a strong storm in Fairfax Saturday afternoon. National Weather Service Meteorologist Sarah Corfidi says they are looking into whether a tornado touched down. “We did receive reports that there was a tornado in that area,” Corfidi said.  “More than likely, someone from the National Weather Service team will go out on Sunday and look for damage and see where the damage was.  See if it’s consistent with a tornado or strong line winds.” The fast, strong storm that swept through Fairfax did leave damage in its path. One resident reacted to seeing a semi turned over by the strong winds. “Man, I’m just, wow!” She said.  “I couldn’t believe it.  I was just like, wow!” There have been no reports of any serious injuries. We do know a fence at a baseball diamond was heavily damaged and drivers had to dodge several fallen tree limbs.
  • The sunglasses can remain at home if you have outdoor plans for today.   There is a chance for thunderstorms during the morning hours.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Lacy says we’ll see plenty of clouds from there.  “Highs only around 80 or so,” Lacy said.  “We’ll see more clouds around.” The low Sunday night will be close to 62 degrees. Don’t put away your umbrella to start the week.  In fact, NWS is reporting a chance of thunderstorms for the next several days.   
  • We have updated information regarding a 39-year-old woman accused of abducting her daughter after stabbing an 11-year-old child. Tulsa County court records show Taheerah Admad has now been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, first-degree arson and two counts of child neglect. An Amber Alert was issued following the abduction. She was eventually spotted by members of the public and tracked down in a downtown parking lot. Original:  Tulsa police on Tuesday arrested a woman who they say bound and gagged her three daughters, stabbed the eldest repeatedly and set their house on fire. Police said a patrol officer found 39-year-old Taheerah Ahmad around midday in a vehicle in downtown Tulsa. Ahmad was taken into custody and her 7-year-old daughter who had been reported missing was found safe, police said. Investigators said that following her arrest, Ahmad told them she became upset after observing two of her children reading a book. It was not immediately known what book they were reading, police said. Ahmad was booked into the Tulsa County Jail on complaints of assault and battery with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, child abuse and first-degree arson. Tulsa police officer Jeanne MacKenzie said earlier that the 7-year-old girl helped her 9-year-old sister escape Monday night, and the 9-year-old ran to a nearby house for help. MacKenzie told the Tulsa World that when authorities arrived, they found an 11-year-old girl with so many stab wounds that emergency responders 'couldn't even count them.' The house was on fire, and Ahmad and the youngest girl were missing. The middle child told police that their mother placed socks in their mouths, bound their hands with duct tape and began stabbing the eldest child, MacKenzie said. The 11-year-old remained hospitalized Tuesday and police said she was unconscious and that her condition was 'very severe.
  • If you're headed out to one of the many events in Tulsa today, the forecast shouldn't be an issue. However, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Lacy says conditions could change Saturday night. “I would say most of the day will be fairly hot and sunny,” Lacy said.  “We’ll have an increase in the possibility of storms Saturday night.” The high today will be close to 92 degrees. As of early this morning, there is 30 percent of thunderstorms Saturday night.  The low will be around 67 degrees.     Temperatures will cool down on Sunday.  NWS is reporting a high near 85 degrees.  
  • A piece of U.S. military history will fly into Tulsa on Monday. And the history is the plane itself. The B-17 bomber “Texas Raiders” will be at Jones Riverside Airport Monday through Thursday. The number of B-17's has gone from more than 12,000 in their heyday to less than 12 flying today. You can take a tour of the plane on the ground for $10 for adults, $5 for kids, or $20 for a family up to five. Or, for prices starting at $475, you can even go on a flight aboard the flying fortress in the skies above Tulsa. You can find more information about the flights here.