40th anniversary celebration for East Race Waterway Saturday

East Race Waterway

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend Venues Parks and Arts will host the East Race Waterway's 40th anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The free event is open to the public and organizers invite you to enjoy a day of fun, food, and activities, block party-style, at South Bend's East Race Waterway.

"We're looking forward to celebrating the anniversary of the East Race Waterway," said Director of Recreational Experiences Macey Hanna. “There are lots of small touches that will make this event special, and I am looking forward to hosting the Jackson Fun Tour, a renowned level IV kayak instructor and pro paddler who has partnered with us for this exciting celebration.”

South Niles Avenue will be closed from East Jefferson Boulevard to East Washington Street for the celebration.

Organizers say you'll be able to take part in rafting down the class II rapids from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., enjoy music by Happy Campers from 3 to 7 p.m., try a variety of food from local food trucks, check out local vendors, try out the rock wall, play yard games, and more. 

The waterway was constructed in 1840 to provide power to a South Bend sawmill before the East Race Waterway opened in 1984 when South Bend Venues Parks and Arts says it became the first man-made whitewater rafting course in North America.

The 2004 Olympic kayaking trials also took place at the waterway.

Saturday's event honors the East Race and its history.

While the event is free, regular rates apply for rides down the East Race Waterway. Rides, day passes, and season passes for rafting can be purchased here.

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