BY SARAH EINSELEN PHAROS-TRIBUNE
---- — The fourth annual Old Style Raft Race will proceed this year, despite ongoing renovations at the hosting pub.
Jonesy’s Old Style Inn owner Scott Jones said the event will be split in half, with the raft race taking place June 22 and the traditional after-party coming later, after the pub reopens.
“Unfortunately I’m not going to have my renovations and be up and running by then,” Jones said, “however we’re still having the raft race.”
Instead, he said, the race will be accompanied by a midway party at Broad Ripple bridge. Food and music by Steve Michaels will start about 1:30 p.m. The Old Style Inn will offer free smoked pulled pork sandwiches and chips.
In its past three years, the raft race has raised over $15,000 for Cass County nonprofits including the Cass County Humane Society, Peak Community Services and A Cause for Paws animal rescue.
This year’s race will again donate all proceeds to A Cause for Paws. The organization has helped thousands of dogs and cats find homes in its 12-year history, according to a raft race press release.
It relies on donations to cover the $25,000 to $30,000 it spends each year on veterinary bills for many animals that have not been properly cared for and have heartworm and other issues.
The raft race’s shotgun start will be at 1 p.m. June 22 at the Adamsboro canoe launch. Participants will race down the Eel River in homemade rafts, canoes, kayaks and anything that floats.
The Adamsboro canoe launch is located on 150 North just west of 600 North.
Like last year, 30 canoes will be available to rent by donation from the raft race’s sister event, the Annual Lilly Float. Some life jackets will also be available, but organizers recommend that participants bring their own if possible.
Participants are asked to donate $10 if bringing their own watercraft or $15 donation if borrowing a canoe.
Race winners will be declared at Broad Ripple bridge in the following categories: homemade raft, canoe, kayak and inner tubes. All prizes are awarded at Broad Ripple. The float continues to Spencer Park.
Along the four-mile route, racers receive free water at Broad Ripple and Spencer Park.
Racers should wear durable footwear as the Eel River’s bed is rocky and the river is muddy, making it difficult to see what is below the water.
Each racer must sign a waiver and children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian and have a life jacket.
Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151.