Hundreds of paddlers fill the Mississippi River

Over 1,400 people participate in the eighth annual Floatzilla

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - It was an exciting day on the Mississippi. 

"It's a great outdoor activity, it's just kind of exciting to just be outside with 1,000 kayaks on the river," says Aaron Gunnare. 

Over one thousand kayakers filled the river for the annual Floatzilla. 

While some drove to Sunset Park, many paddled across the Mississippi River. 

"They lied, they said it was six miles," says Ron Gunnare. 

"We didn't lie, it was eleven," says Gunnare. 

Program Manager Noah Truestell says there are five different launch locations, Empire Park, Two Rivers YMCA, Main Street in Davenport, Marquette Street and Credit Island. 

He says this not only decreases car congestion, it makes the event more appealing to paddlers. 

"It just gives the more experienced paddlers something to come out for, rather than just launching onto the lake, makes more of an event for them," says Noah Truestell.  

"It's a cardiovascular workout," says Gunnare. "But a relaxing one, you get to float sometime."

Many people attend just to watch the paddlers come in from the Mississippi River. 

"It's really cool to see all the paddlers coming down the Mississippi too, all together in a big group," says Truestell. 

"It's a very relaxing time and just really neat to see all the people out there," says Lisa Downing. 

There was also live music and food. 

Beside it being the largest paddle festival on the Mississippi, many say it's a healthy way to unite the community. 

"It's a big community, I mean everybody out here," says Gunnare. "You pass on, everyone says hi, you float, you talk to different people, it's a great afternoon." 


More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center