Sheriffs to host Flint River events

NEWTON, Ga. -- Not everyone at the fourth annual Flint River Poker Float & Raft Race in Newton will wind up getting wet, but it's a definite possibility.

Brooke Parker, secretary for the Baker County Sheriff's Office, said that Sheriff Dana Meade's group is partnering with Sheriff W.E. Bozeman's group in Mitchell County to host the annual event at Rocky Bend River Retreat in Newton. All proceeds will benefit Georgia Sheriffs Youth Homes.

Following registration, the Poker Float will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Parker said. Canoeing or kayaking competitors will make several stops down a designated stretch of the Flint, receiving a card from a standard deck each time. At the end of the run, the competitor with the highest poker hand wins. Parker said the cost of the Poker Float is $35 per hand. The winner will receive a Kindle Fire tablet.

At 3 p.m., participating six-person crews will take to the water with their home-made rafts, Parker said, and set out on their half-mile race down the Flint.

"This one's a lot of fun," Parker said. "You can make a raft out of old tractor tires, or logs -- anything you think will float down the river -- but watch out for the obstacles. Last year we had one built out of bamboo."

Parker did say that while paddles are an acceptable method for steering and propulsion, sails and push-poles are not allowed. Entrance for the Raft Race is $100 per six-person team.

According to Parker, the fun will continue into the evening with concessions, live entertainment and swimming in the Flint. In addition, a fishing kayak will be raffled at $2 per ticket. For more information on the Flint River Poker Float & Raft Race, visit www.floattheflint.com or call Parker at (229) 734-3003.