published Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

River play at Waterfest in Rome

by Kathy Gilbert
Audio clip

Joe Cook

Celebrating the end of cabin fever? Waterfest in Rome, Ga., might be the place for you.

“We want to get people out on a river so they can fall in love with the river,” said co-organizer Joe Cook.

The Coosa River Basin Initiative hosts the world’s largest portable fish aquarium, a 13-mile race on the Oostanaula River and canoe and kayak tug-of-wars in a “mammoth” pool provided by Johnson Outdoors.

An environmental fair slithers into the snaking rivers of Georgia, an environmental quiz bowl challenges participants, and Georgia Public Radio’s Evening Star program host Andy Offutt Irwin offers singing and storytelling.

Paddlers can register on race day, though organizers request advance registration.

About 1,000 people and 250 paddlers played at last year’s event, Mr. Cook said. This year, boaters will be sailing in from Virginia, South Carolina, across Northwest Georgia and Atlanta.


What: Waterfest IX.

Where: Ridge Ferry Park, Rome, Ga.

Admission: Free to watch. $30-$90 to paddle (registration required).

Phone: (706) 232-2724.

Web site:

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