Heber Springs’ Cardboard Boat Races began as a novelty in 1987 to help drum up a little more summer tourism for the area. If they had had any idea how successful and popular this event would be, they probably would’ve started up sooner! Every year contestants, spectators, and film crews from across the country come to witness the spectacle – and spectacle it truly is!
The term “cardboard boat” may not do a whole lot to inspire one’s confidence in a vessel – but you’d be surprised. After 30 years of competition, the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races sees some very ingenious cardboard watercraft. In fact, that’s mostly what this annual event is about: creativity and good clean fun.
During the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races, registered participants face the challenge of designing a boat made entirely of corrugated cardboard. No other construction materials are permitted in the construction except tape, waterproofing, and oars. Not only must this boat be able to float, it also has to be able to complete four heats around a 200-yard course on Greers Ferry Lake!
It sounds impossible. It sounds insane – and yet a great competitors are more than game for the challenge. Every year sees plenty of teams registering for and turning up at the event. And their creations! These cardboard boats range in style and approach from bare-bones rafts to fanciful and colorfully rigged ships.
Every year’s race has a theme and this year it’s DC versus Marvel. Shipwrights will be bringing boats designed after favorite DC or Marvel comic character or series. Once again, the theme will play a big role in helping to create a colorful and fun time for all.
The races begin at 10am with timed heats for both child and adult teams. Prizes include The Pride of the Fleet, awarded to the boat with the best combination of innovative engineering and artistic design. The Captain’s Award goes to the team able to drum up the greatest spirit amongst themselves and the crowd. The Titanic Award, somewhat self-explanatory n title, goes to the boat that provides the most dramatic sinking.
Other events scheduled for the day include a treasure dig, watermelon-eating contest, lucky duck races, and a volleyball tournament.
Come on out for some fun in the sun in Heber Springs!
2017 World Championship Cardboard Boat Races
July 29, 2017, 10am
Sandy Beach, Greers Ferry Lake, Heber Springs, AR
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