Get Your Ship Together for the Rock River Anything That Floats RaceThe race is back in Rockford for its 3rd year



August 10, 2018


Rockford, IL ­­– Rafts of all shapes and sizes will set sail on the Rock River for the 3rd annual Rock River Anything that Floats Race (RRATFR) on Sunday, August 12, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The timed race begins when rafts cross the Auburn Street Bridge and end at the Prairie Street Brewhouse where post-race festivities ensue to celebrate the completion of another successful race.


The race pays homage to the 1970s, 80s and 90s raft race tradition which attracted thousands of people to participate as racers, spectators and volunteers. While these races ended in the 1990s, the RRATFR committee brought the Anything that Floats Raft Race back to the Rock River in 2016. With over 20,000 people in attendance the first year, it was clear Rockford had missed this summertime tradition.


Race day festivities have since expanded offering participants and spectators the option to make this family friendly activity an all-day event. Live music, entertainment and refreshments begin at 10:00 a.m. The raft race launches at 12:00 p.m. with an expected completion time of approximately 3:00 p.m. The evening continues with food, drinks, live music and an awards ceremony at Prairie Street Brewhouse. Race participants, spectators and volunteers are all welcome to attend the celebration.


Spectators can now participate in the competitive spirit by joining the 2nd annual rubber duck race. Ducks will be dropped into the Rock River following the raft race at 3:30 p.m. by the Whitman Street Bridge and float down to Prairie Street Brewhouse. The first twenty ducks to cross the finish line win their owner cash or other valuable prizes. Rubber ducks are available for purchase the day of the race or ahead of time at City Market at the B-103 Radio Station booth, Prairie Street Brewhouse, BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office, YMCA Intern Challenge participants, the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau office and all Rock Valley Credit Union locations. The cost of one duck is $5, or purchase five ducks for $20.


Sunday, August 12 Race Day Schedule  

  • 10:00 AM – Raft sign-in begins and including a live radio remote, entertainment, food, and drinks at race start line area on Illinois Street near old Coast Guard Station 
  • 11:30 AM – Raft race registration ends
  • 12:00 PM – Anything That Floats Raft Race begins!
  • 12:00 - 1:30 PM - The Gilligans perform live for spectators from a raft patrolling the river 
  • 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Dirty Fishnet Stockings perform at Prairie Street Brewing Co finish line 
  • 3:30 - Chuck-a-Duck Drop off Whitman St. Bridge 
  • 4:30 - Awards Ceremony at Prairie Street Brewing Co finish line 


"This event has been an ongoing success for the last two years since its revival and we know this year will be the best one yet. This action-packed summer day attracts tens of thousands of spectators and is a great way to have fun and build comradery both on and off the water,” said Chris Manuel, RRATFR committee chair.


Race Registration

So far, approximately 40 teams have registered their raft to participate in the 2018 RRATFR. Those interested in registering for the race can visit the RRATFR website at The entry fee for rafts is $100 per team (minimum of two crew members and up to ten crew members per raft) and $15 per canoe, kayak and paddleboard. Awards will be presented to the first, second and third place winners for each race class as well as first, second and third place winners for creativity in design and audience choice.


Shuttle Service

The Rockford Mass Transit trolley and bus will be driving along the race route throughout the day shuttling spectators at no cost. The route includes stops at the following locations:

  • Illinois Street
  • Symbol/Sinnissippi bike path parking lot
  • Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens located at 1354 North 2nd St.
  • YMCA located at 200 Y Boulevard (near the curve of Y Blvd. where the train tracks cross)
  • Prairie Street Brewing Co. located at 200 Prairie Street



An event as great as the RRATFR is run solely by volunteers. The RRATFR Committee is looking for anyone interested in a variety of different roles on August 12. Positions include assisting crafts enter the water, helping attendees park their cars and officiating the race. Visit the “VOLUNTEER” tab at to sign up to help.



The RRATFR Committee would like to thank our sponsors:  Prairie Street Brewing Company, GrahamSpencer,, the United States Marine Corps, Generations Dental, Rock Valley Credit Union, Flamingo Slots, Midwest Family Broadcasting, Rockford Park District and Rock River Service Company for their support. If you or your company are interested in being a part of this great community event as it continues to grow, contact for more information.

The RRATFR benefits the 4th of July Fireworks and Holiday Lighting efforts, Ski Broncs and the Forest City Queen by donating all the proceeds to these local efforts.


People can follow along with updates before and during the event at @RRATFR on Facebook or




FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Chris Manuel, Prairie Street Brewing Company partner & vice president/RRATFR committee chair: 815.218.3784 or


FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Andrea Cook, RACVB associate director of marketing & communications: 815.489.1664 or